Locally sourced food is fresher than food that comes from far away. Money spent on local produce and fish stays within the Florida Keys economy, rather than going to large producers and distributors in other parts of Florida, the United States and the world. In addition, purchasing local food, which doesn't have to be shipped hundreds or thousand miles, leads to energy efficiencies and reduces our carbon footprints.
The Florida Keys are home to the largest commercial fishing industry on the southeastern seaboard, yet much of the seafood on offer at local markets comes from abroad – in many cases even when the species being sold is also locally caught and exported.
The Keys, with our limited land and thin soil, are less abundant when it comes to produce. Still, technology is bringing new growing opportunities, plus, the many farms of Homestead and the Redland area sit just across the 18-mile Stretch.
Which steps would you like to see undertaken to improve the local food network in the Keys?
(image from Original Marathon Seafood Festival)