Local food in St Johns 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.
Here is a list of 10 reasons to buy local foods that is offered by Vern Grubinger of the University of Vermont Extension
- 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, I heartily recommend the essay "Eating Locally - A Matter of Integrity " by John Ikerd
This webpage offers information to St Johns County consumers on sources of locally-produced foods in order to facilitate this critical step towards developing a sustainable local food system. It's offered also in hopes of increasing public awareness of importance and potential of local agriculture to 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.
"What is a local food " is an important question for consumers to help answer. Is it the 100 mile definition as stated by the 100 Mile Diet group or is it determined by consumers with informed choices as stated by the Food Routes organization. Let the spending of your food dollars be your vote for the definition.
For online searches of local food sources, here are the best links to follow:
http://www.floridafarmlink.org/ - a networking tool to help FL communities and farmers build local food connections.
http://www.localharvest.org/ - a national database of many local foods categories that includes Florida listings
http://www.eatwellguide.org - a national database of multiple local foods categories that includes Florida listings by zip code
http://www.eatwild.com/ - a national database of local grass-fed meat producers that includes Florida listings
http://www.foginfo.org/ - a Florida database of local, certified organic producers
http://www.florida-agriculture.com/consumers/farmers_markets.htm - a Florida database of community farmers markets
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/localfood- a national database of local foods directories that includes Florida
Food For Thought: "Eating is an Agricultural Act " - Wendell Berry
"Eating is a Political Act " - Alice Waters
"Eating is an Agricultural Act and a Political Act and also an Ecological Act " - Michael Pollan