THE BEST OF FRESH FROM FLORIDA PRODUCTS You fellow Floridians may have begun to notice while shopping in your local grocery store that there are new stickers everywhere. The Florida Department of Agriculture, in an effort to support Florida grown items, has started the "Fresh From Florida" campaign. You can find readily and easily the items grown in Florida by looking for the stickers on everything from corn, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelons, and even fish and other seafood. This Florida Agricultural Promotial Campaign (FAPC) is an incentivised program for large and small farmers and helps promote their products by getting them into trade shows at reduced rates, getting them trade leads and providing them with point of purchase and other materials. This is huge for the Florida farmer in an ever increasing sea of competitors from other states. We need to produce and eat locally in order to sustain a low price point for our products. This is necessary the world over. Why would you buy an orange from California which has to travel over 3,000 miles to get here and pay for all of those trucking fees and fuel costs? We have thousands of orange groves right here in Florida! Why would we buy strawberries and melons from Chile when our local farmers are watching their perfectly ripe fruit decay? And yes, Florida honey is a bit more expensive, but because it is so flavorful, you seriously use a third less than that you'd find in a bear shaped container from god-knows-where. I think the real key here is going back to eating seasonally. If we eat what's in season, we don't have to ship things from other states or countries even. And I'll tell you what, my grandparents ate seasonally. In the Summers there were always fresh slices of tomatoes on the table with a dusting of pepper and salt, corn on the cob, black-eyed peas and rice, collards with corn bread and pot liquor and a small amount of some protein. The Summers are hot here and it makes perfect sense to eat more fruits and veggies than lots of proteins which can take longer to digest. Eating seasonally and locally is the best way to sustain our future agriculture and aquaculture. Waste not, want not. I'll be posting more and more on Florida sustainable foods, agriculture and cool markets to visit throughout the year. Meanwhile, check out the Fresh From Florida website and find awesome recipes while helping support our great state!
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