University of Florida

Local Foods

Local food has become a popular topic in the past few years, though many consumers may not know the benefits of buying local food. In addition to being fresher than most available foods, local food lets consumers invest in the preservation of their local economy and environment.

Food Systems & Sustainability

Sustainability as a goal means to use resources in a way that conserves and maintains that resource base, while also providing social, economic, and environmental benefits. Encouraging local food systems can help to incorporate sustainable practices into the food we eat.

UF/IFAS’s Partnership for Water, Agriculture, and Community Sustainability at Hastings defines a sustainable food system as a collaborative network of farmers, consumers, and communities that partner to create a more locally based, self-reliant food system. Farmers markets are one example of where this network comes together.

Local food systems enhance the social relationships between farmers and consumers; support small and family farmers; keep local agricultural economies viable; maintain genetic diversity of food crops; and preserve natural resources, rural land areas, and wildlife spaces.

Florida Foods

Florida’s warm weather means you can find a wide variety of local foods grown year-round, as opposed to the limited growing seasons of more northern locations. Here are some resources to help you find information on Florida foods and where to buy them:

Next time you head to a “U-pick” farm, stop at a roadside stand, or swing by a farmers market, know that you’re not just picking up something good to eat, but also keeping your community healthy in all aspects of the word.

Adapted and excerpted from:

"Local Food in the Tri-County Ag Area," UF/IFAS Florida Partnership for Water, Agriculture & Community Sustainability at Hastings (accessed 09/2012).

"Why Local Foods?," NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project--ATTRA (rev. 04/2011).

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