These tips to eat more local this year have been sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed are my own.
I spend a lot of time eating. Seriously, I probably spend TOO MUCH time eating but food is more than just sustenance to me. I enjoy growing it, finding creative new recipes and exploring new flavors. Besides being a necessity of life, food can also have a huge carbon footprint. The way it is grown, transported, and produced, can really impact our planet (for good OR bad!). One of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your food is to choose locally sourced products whenever possible. And with Fresh from Florida produce in abundance this spring at the grocery store, it is easier than ever!
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What are the benefits of buying locally grown produce?
Let’s say that you go to the grocery store. You see tomatoes from some far away country and tomatoes from Florida. Why should you choose the one from Florida? Here are just a few benefits of buying locally grown produce:
- More flavor: Locally grown produce is picked at the peak of ripeness and gets to you quickly. A tomato from some other country is picked before it is ripe and it takes a much longer time to get to your store. Local foods have more flavor.
- More nutrients: Because your produce arrives to the store more quickly, nutrients don’t have as much time to break down. That means there are more nutrients for YOU to absorb.
- Local foods are often safer. The more steps there are between growing and eating, the more you risk contamination with not so friendly microorganisms. Fewer miles means fewer steps and possibly a safer food supply.
Tips to Eat More Local Food This Year
So, how do you go about eating more local foods this year? Not everyone knows a farmer or can afford the steep prices of the farmer’s market. Here are a few tips to eat more local foods this year without going broke.
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- Don’t let it go to waste! Make sure you buy only what your family will eat. Research the proper storage for each item and keep your eye out for loss of freshness. Throwing away your produce is a waste of money!
- Try “Farm to Table” restaurants: Planning a date night? Just because you are eating out doesn’t mean you can’t eat local foods. Many chefs are starting to offer more local and seasonal options on their menu. Even small ‘mom and pop’ diners who don’t advertise as an ‘upscale’ restaurant often buy from local sources. Ask around!
- Buy a seasonal cookbook: Cooking from scratch may not be something you are familiar with but invest in a good seasonal cookbook. Eating out is expensive so stock up on Florida produce and start cooking! Check out the Fresh from Florida recipe page for inspiration.
- Become a label reader: At your local grocery store, check the labels! There are so many delicious types of produce that are grown right in Florida. My goal is to avoid buying produce from other countries unless I have absolutely no other option.
Look for the Fresh from Florida Label!
Florida farmers make it easy for everyone to eat fresh produce year-round. I found an amazing selection of Florida produce at my local Kroger’s. What sort of delicious local produce is available this month? Everything from cabbage and strawberries to mushrooms and radishes!
Want to find fantastic ideas featuring Florida fruits and vegetables? Follow Fresh From Florida on social media and watch easy how to videos for quick and healthy recipes!
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Have any other tips to eat more local produce this year?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.