Why eat local?
Locally grown fruits and vegetables are usually sold within 24 hours of being harvested. Buying local ensures that you buy food that is at the peak of flavor and nutritive value. Nothing surpasses produce that is picked and eaten at the height of ripeness.
When you buy direct from local farmers, your dollars stay within your community, and strengthen the local economy. By shopping at local Farmers’ Markets and supporting local retailers and restaurants that source locally, we are supporting the hard-working small farms that need our business to sustain. While a typical family farm gets paid only 10 cents of each retail food dollar, buying directly from a producer or conscientious retailer keeps more money in the pocket of these family farms and keeps them in business.
Sustainable farming keeps pesticides and other chemicals out of runoff water. Local, small farmers have the flexibility to maintain crop diversification and implement sustainable harvesting methods that impact the quality of our water source. Buying local has a smaller carbon footprint eliminating transportation and storage costs.
“Know your farmer, know your food” is not just a slogan. When you meet and talk with farmers at local growers’ markets, you can ask where and how the produce was grown, You may even get recommendations on preparing the product!
The following sites provide a wealth of information on the health and economic benefits of local foods.
Tallahassee Food Network – The Network is an open group of community activists, organizers, gardeners, graphic artists, youth workers, farmer-producers, university students and professionals, health workers, sustainability advocates, grocers, farmers’ market, and neighborhood leaders -- dedicated to developing resilient, community-based food systems that will provide healthy, affordable food for all. The goal of the Network is to ensure all people have access to food that is healthy, fresh, fairly traded and affordable. Its emphasis is on developing effective community-based food systems. Details on their monthly meetings are available at their Facebook page: http://facebook.com/tallahasseefoodnetwork.
Slow Food USA - Slow Food USA envisions a future food system that is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justice – in essence, a food system that is good, clean and fair.
Slow Food International - Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.
Local Harvest - An electronic directory of farms and farmer’s markets selling locally produced farm products directly to consumers. Consumers can search the directory by state, city, zip code, farm type, or farm product to learn where to buy farm products grown near them. Farms and farmer’s markets get free listings.
New North Florida Cooperative - A group of innovative African-American farmers formed the New North Florida Cooperative Association Inc. in 1995. The goal of the cooperative was to provide marketing services to the participating farmers, collectively sell produce to markets such as local school districts, and ultimately to increase the amount of product being sold, thereby increasing the farmers’ income.
Center for Food Safety works to protect human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agricutrure.
Locavores - A group of concerned culinary adventurers who are making an effort to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco for an entire month because they recognize that the choices we make about what foods we choose to eat are important politically, environmentally, economically, and healthfully.
FoodRoutes - A group dedicated to promoting sustainable family farmers. Maintain a wealth of information to help support the purchasing of locally grown foods.