Local Food in Sarasota County
The food system of any community can be defined as the "Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of our food from farm to plate." In other words, how does the system of food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management function to provide all of us with our food needs. A sustainable food system is collaborative network of farmers, consumers and communities to partner to create a more locally based, self-reliant food system.
Vern Grubinger, of the University of Vermont Extension, offers 10 reasons to buy local foods:
- Locally grown food tastes better
- Local produce is better for you
- Local food preserves genetic diversity
- Local food is safe
- Local food supports local families
- Local food builds community
- Local food preserves open space
- Local food keeps taxes down
- Local food benefits the environment and wildlife
- Local food is an investment in the future
For additional reading on reasons to buy local foods, check John Ikerd's " Eating Locally - A Matter of Integrity".
Extension offers information to Sarasota County consumers on sources of locally-produced foods to facilitate the development of a sustainable local food system, increase public awareness of local agriculture and improve the sustainability and quality of life in Sarasota County. So make friends with your local producers, and encourage local eateries and stores to provide more local foods for your enjoyment.
Find Local Food
Whether "local" as defined by the 100 Mile Diet group or as stated by the Food Routes organization, we can help you find local food:
- Local Foods: Impacts and Choices (PDF: 7.0mb)
- Locally Grown Foods (PDF: 2.0mb)
For information on how to grow your own foods, visit our Grow Your Food page.
Florida Crops: What’s In Season Now?
- Locally Grown Foods (PDF)
- Sarasota County Local Farm and Food Economy (PDF)
- Investing in the Economic Benefits of Local Foods (PDF)
- USDA/ERS Report "Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues"
- USDA/ATTRA “Local & Regional Food Systems"
- Community Food Security Coalition
- Ken Meter: Building a Local Food Economy
- The Local Food Movement: Steps to Becoming a "Locavore"
- Florida Market Maker
- Florida Farm Link
- Florida Organic Growers
- FL Dept. of Ag: State Farmers Markets
- ATTRA Local Foods Directory