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Eat Local: Pecans

Instead of buying produce from far-away farms, buy locally to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and boost the local economy. While the typical supermarket produce can travel up to 2,000 miles, locally grown harvest only travels about 50 miles to its destination. Buying local foods also highlight the significance of agriculture, too.

Since Florida pecans are available from October to January, now is the time to purchase local pecans before they disappear until the fall.

Nutritional Facts
Although Florida pecans are high in calories, they have many nutritional benefits.

  • Florida pecans are a good source of fiber, which helps digest foods and minimizes heart disease risk.
  • They contain a high amount of unsaturated fatty acids that can lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • They are free of cholesterol and sodium.
  • Pecans have protein—the building blocks for bones, muscles, skin, and blood.
  • They serve as a sources of Vitamin B1 and minerals, such as copper, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.

How to Select Florida Pecans
When searching for pecans, look for ones with an even, clean shell and feel hefty for their size. Check the shell for any scars, cracks, and mold—you won’t want those. Be sure to shake the shell to see if it rattles, a sign of age.

If you’re purchasing pecans without the shell, then find clean, thick ones that are symmetrical in size and color.

For more information about local food in your area, contact your county UF/IFAS Extension office.

Adapted and excerpted from:
C. Peñuela, “Florida Fresh: Pecans” (FCS8881), UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences (rev. 09/2012).

Local Foods,” UF/IFAS Extension (03/2013).