The varieties of landscapes throughout Florida provide us with a very unique experience- the ability to connect directly with our food. From beautiful bodies of water, to vast forests, and bountiful land, Florida is one of the most diverse places for people to break away from the ordinary, and become closer with their food. The combination of knowing where your food came from, and knowing who and what has touched it, gives Floridians the opportunity to learn about different sources of their food.
The state of Florida has long been considered the “Fishing Capital of the World.” Whether you prefer scalloping in the bay, fishing near shore, or diving for lobster further south, finding food in the ocean can be fairly easy and very satisfying for any individual. Over 1.2 million people bought recreational saltwater Florida fishing licenses last year, making this practice one of the most popular in the state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fishermen across the state agree, the connection that you share when you catch, clean, and cook your own fish makes it a very rewarding activity.
The state of Florida also offers many hunting opportunities on public land through the use of Wildlife Management Areas. These Wildlife Management areas, or WMAs, offer one the ability to hunt and harvest on public land with limited entry/quota permits. More than five million acres have been set aside as WMAs in Florida, both for recreational and conservation purposes. Visit Florida’s website for more information on a WMA near you.
The practice of foraging is a very unique way to stay close to your food source. Foraging is the act of searching for food. While it is not the easiest practice to learn, Florida has a huge variety of native edibles that can be found almost anywhere in the state. “When I consume a wild food I am doing something that most of humanity has done for most our history. It’s a very natural thing to do.” said Green Deane, a forager who has been taking part in the activity for nearly sixty years.
“More so if you collect it yourself, there’s little opportunity for handling contamination or nutritional degradation,” said Deane. “If it’s edible raw it can go from growing to tummy immediately, no time lost and only my hand touching it. While wild foods do pack more nutrition than cultivated relatives, they also have different flavors and textures.”
Whether you prefer going out and searching for your food, or simply just waiting for your favorite citrus tree to produce, connecting with your food can be a very worthwhile activity.
So, as Fall begins to really set in, we ask you, what is your favorite way to connect with your food?
Blog by Connor Seth
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