Florida’s warm climate means we have a variety of fresh foods that have the ability to be grown year round. Florida’s First Coast is full of farm land, local seasonal fresh produce, and an abundance of farmers markets and food delivery services that offer locally farm fresh food options.
What are some benefits to eating locally grown fresh foods?
According to Michigan State University Extension Offices buying locally grown food has the following benefits:
- Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, maximizing the amount of vitamins and minerals in your local produce.
- Locally grown food is full of flavor. When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness. Providing us with a product packed full of flavor and nutrients.
- Eating local food is eating seasonally. We are blessed to live in Florida where many of our crops can be grown year round. However, when we do eat seasonally, it provides us with a variety of nutrients and an opportunity to try new things.
- Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community.
- Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods, you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community.
- Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food’s source, the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.
- Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.
Resource: Annual Peak Produce Chart
Interested in growing your own vegetables?
Get started with this article from Blue Zones on 7 easy-to-grow plants.