TALLAHASSEE (FDACS)– More and more consumers are discovering the benefits of eating fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood at the peak of their harvest season. After all, in-season products are fresher and tastier, they provide optimal nutritional value, they encourage a diverse diet in harmony with nature’s production cycle, and are often more economical. A new web page launched by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will help consumers quickly find out which Florida products are in season so they can look for them when they go shopping.
The web page – http://www.florida-agriculture.com/shopping_list.htm — features a list of popular Florida fruits, vegetables and seafood that are currently being harvested. The list is updated each week. Visitors to the web page can put a checkmark beside the items they are interested in and then print out a personalized shopping list that contains these items.
“The Florida items listed each week should be available at farmers’ markets and grocery stores around Florida,” said Executive Chef Justin Timineri of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “If you don’t see those Florida products in your grocery, mention it to the manager and let him or her know that you prefer seasonal products that are grown in Florida.”
The web page also features links to information about Florida’s growing seasons and tips for selecting, storing and preparing fresh seafood. Also included is a link to The Florida Chef, a web site featuring recipes developed by Chef Justin that use fresh Florida ingredients.
“I am pleased to see the rapidly growing interest in fresh, seasonal products,” Timineri said. “Nothing enhances a meal more than using fresh Florida ingredients at their peak of freshness. This web page will help consumers quickly find out what’s in season so they can create simple dishes that taste great and provide high levels of nutrition.”
Chef Justin works in the department’s Division of Marketing and Development and his responsibilities include promoting all of Florida’s freshest commodities, creating new recipes, participating in trade events, performing cooking demonstrations and educating children on the value of health and nutrition in food.
For more information, visit http://www.florida-agriculture.com/shopping_list.htm.