In Our Spring 2016 Issue

By Kay Clark | Last Updated April 01, 2016
Share to printerest Share to fb Share to twitter Share to mail Share to print
spring 2016 tampa bay


In April, the Tampa Bay Times published a series on the “trend” toward local food in the Tampa Bay area. Unfortunately, what Laura Reiley’s reporting in “Farm to Fable” revealed is that what you see isn’t necessarily what you eat.

From restaurants listing suppliers with whom they no longer work (or never did) to vendors at markets representing bought goods from far-flung locales as their own farm-grown produce, the article revealed that some are only embracing the local food movement as a marketing tactic, rather than a true commitment to sourcing locally and sustainably.

Obviously that’s very disappointing … not only because we deserve to be told the truth as consumers and should be able to expect that from the folks who feed us, but because the people who are doing the right thing in the food industry suffer as a result of these kinds of fallacies. The farmers who grow using sustainable practices, but are just getting by – and need buyers who are willing to pay a little more to do that. The restaurateurs who really do use local ingredients and – to ensure they can still meet diners’ expectations on price – have smaller margins to show for it.

The good news is that, after an initial “it’s not my job” response, State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam seems to be paying attention, and is meeting with the state’s restaurant overseer, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, to discuss potential actions. What comes of this is yet to be seen, and there’s always more to the story, but we’re glad the Times chose to shine a light on this topic and hope to see more transparency in our local food system as a result.

That issue aside, let’s talk about this issue of edible. You’ll find a feature on one local farming family where you know you’re getting “Fresh from Florida” because you’re picking fruit right off their trees (A Peach within Reach). Read about two immigrant women who are at different stages of building their food businesses that highlight specialties from their homelands (Sharing the Flavors of Home). And take a quick trip to Tarpon Springs for a taste of Greece just down the road (Greek Revival).

I hope you enjoy these stories and that we can continue to tell them because you truly value local businesses like our own. We’re happy to do our part to support the people who keep us well-fed in Tampa Bay.

-Kay Clark, Publisher/Editor

Quick Bites: Be Authentic Apparel, Blossom & Shine Jewelry, Kairos Ceramics, Blueberries, Oggi's, and a Moveable Feast

Tampa and St. Pete's Necklace from Blossom and Shine
To inform, Entertain & Inspire. Show off your eat-buy-support local pride with makers from right here in Tampa Bay.

The Urban Homesteader: Sharing The Spoils

Cara Cooper
An environmental consultant by trade, Cara Cooper started her garden with citrus and avocado trees plus a few herbs … all the makings of margaritas and guacamole. Here, she shares the lessons she’...

The Uncorked Dork: Wine and Cheese, A Perfect Pair

Wine and Cheese
Good food calls for good wine. But good doesn’t have to be expensive or pretentious. That’s the philosophy of edible Tampa Bay’s very own wine expert, the Uncorked Dork, who serves up irreverent...

How To Prepare Tamales

How To Make Tamales
Recipes for masa dough & filings abound, so arm yourself with your abuela's favorites and get ready to roll...

A Peach Within Reach

When I heard that, thanks to the growing Florida peach industry, I wouldn’t have to wait until a summer trip to the Peach State to get my fix, I was more than a little excited.

Sharing The Flavors of Home

Rosita Cruz's Empanadas
Two families. Two countries of origin. One dream…

Hellas Restaurant: Greek Revival in Tarpon Springs

The Counter at Hellas
I have a confession to make. Half Greek and living in the Tampa Bay area for decades, I was confident I knew exactly what to expect when I...

Peach & Berry Pavlova

Peach and Berry Pavlova
Pavlova is a meringue dessert with a crisp shell and soft, marshmallow-like interior. Topped with the season’s freshest fruit and just-made whipped cream, it’s a sweet, light ending to spring or...
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60