Buy local, eat seasonal: It just makes sense

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Yes, you can get asparagus that came from Mexico or oranges from Brazil, but then where is most of your money going? Out of the country and probably also in some big grocery store chain's pocket. Unless you live in a desert, you most likely have access to a variety of unprocessed, locally grown foods. By buying these local foods from markets and farms, you're putting money back into the farmers' pockets and into the local economy. You're also keeping some of that money in your own pocket because foods tend to be less expensive when purchased from a local source, seeing as there were no extra shipping costs tacked on.

And yet another very important reason to be buying local: to save carbon emissions. Many of you have probably already heard about your "carbon footprint" and "going green", but buying from local food producers is one of the best ways of cutting carbon emissions and lightening your footprint.

Last but not least, eating with the seasons gives you a variety of foods to cook and get creative with in the kitchen.

It's simple: buying local and eating with the seasons means better, healthier food and saving money, carbon emissions and your local economy.

Here's what's in season in Florida in early to mid summer:

Fruits: bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, guava, limes, mangoes, papayas, strawberries, watermelon

Vegetables: avocados, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, peppers, radishes, sweet corn, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini

Check out the CL Cookbook for a little culinary inspiration on ways to use your summer fruits and veggies.

Purchasing locally grown, seasonal foods is a no-brainer. You're eating healthy, nutrient rich food and supporting local agriculture at the same time.

Fruits and vegetables in season are at the highest potential of flavor and nutritional content than at any other time of the year. When you buy a tomato in the summer, you're buying a tastier tomato with more vitamins and health benefits than if it were wintertime and you'd purchased one. When produce is in season, it's also at the height of its abundance. And what does that equal? Lower prices for you.

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