The City of Winter Park’s Sustainability Program understands that the way we eat not only affects our own health, but it has an impact on our environment as well. Below are some of the things the city has been or is doing to address this issue.
Benefits of buying local
Produce that travels farther distances may have been picked weeks ago before it gets to you. Local produce is usually harvested within a matter of hours.
Buying local produce means you are also eating seasonally. Eating seasonally means you’re eating something that is more abundant, costs less, and is at its peak taste.
Local farms can grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that provide you with a wide array of nutrients, tastes, textures, sizes and uses.
The longer it takes produce to reach you, the more nutritional value it loses. That is why local produce is nutritionally richer. They also don’t have to be processed, gassed or waxed.
Are you concerned with how your food is prepared? Is it contaminated with chemicals or maybe even diseases like E.coli? Knowing where your food comes from helps to develop trust and accountability. You can always go to your local farm to see for yourself.
- Regional economic health
Buying locally grown food helps to keep money in your community which improves to local economy and quality of life.
- Environmental protection
Foods that are bought locally generally require less traveling and packaging. This helps prevent pollution and unnecessary waste.
- Land Conservation
Supporting local farms helps them stay in business which means the farm land won’t be used for development. It is another great way to conserve land.
- Regional food self reliance
Buying local helps a community develop their own food production system which helps to ensure a reliable food source for future generations. Depending strictly on outside sources for food leaves a community vulnerable to disruptions in supply.
The Winter Park Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is located at 200 West New England Avenue. It was originally a train depot that has been restored into an historical landmark that provides a venue for local farmers to sell fresh produce, plants and much more. When you buy locally you’re not only supporting your local economy, but you are also purchasing goods that required significantly less travel time. This cuts down pollution and is better for our environment!
Gardening at Mead Garden
The city is also teaming up with Friends of Mead Garden and Orange County to develop organic gardens in Mead Garden. Through educational workshops, citizens and students of all ages will be inspired to grow, prepare and eat garden fresh produce while learning how plants provide food and drink that is essential for health and wellness. Water conservation and composting will also be incorporated.
Check back for updates on the garden’s progress.
You can find sustainable food sources and information including farms, u-picks, restaurants, caterers and grocery stores in your area by accessing the following links:
- Eat Well Guide
- Local Harvest
- U-Pick Farms
- USDA Farmers’ Markets
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Consumer Reports Greener Choices Eco-labels Center
- Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides
- University of Florida IFAS Extension
- World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms
- Water Conservation Information