Adding Value

New Orleans, LA – Recently, I was visiting farmers markets in Central Los Angeles. I stumbled upon a vendor peddling organic, harvested cane juice beverages. As a native New Orleanian, this intrigued me. After all, I've been gnawing on the freshly-harvested sugar cane that the Monica family has been bringing to market. Despite feeling a little bit reckless tempting fate with my dentist's advice by chewing on sugar cane, I have to admit. I love the flavor. Well, after sampling these Californian sugar cane beverages and learning about the value of trace minerals found in the raw juice, it got me wondering: Why is it that we refine all of the goodness out of our Louisiana sugar harvest? Instead, why aren't we investing in value-added enterprises that bring an array of healthier products, like blended beverages. Say, with coconut water to help with dehydration or with cayenne to help with circulation and blood pressure? In all likelihood, if we see these products emerge, we'll see them first at farmers markets. For WWNO, this is Richard McCarthy.