Jan 5, 2024 - Business

Miami-Dade produces just half of the food residents need

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 2: Farm workers set up a mesh to grow vegetables (Luffa Acutangula) at a farm on November 2, 2023 in Homestead

Workers set up a mesh to grow vegetables at a farm in Homestead. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Miami-Dade is a major supplier of fruits and vegetables, but it still only produces about half of plant-based calories that its residents need.

  • That's according to new research from the University of Colorado Boulder and The Plotline, a nonprofit food climate initiative.

Why it matters: The U.S. depends on just over 5% of counties to produce half the crops consumers eat.

  • Climate change and associated heat waves, droughts and wildfires can have an impact on food supply.

What they're saying: Miami-Dade has a particularly high "production of peppers, sweet corn and carrots when compared to other counties across the U.S.," Cameron Kruse, a scientist/storyteller who worked on the project, tells Axios.

  • "However, Miami-Dade only produces about half of the calories for plant based foods demanded by its residents. In particular, people in Miami-Dade rely on grain from a number of disparate locations in the U.S.," Kruse says.

By the numbers: Miami-Dade County produces some ​​$838 million of agricultural products, according to 2017 data.

  • The food that is produced in Miami-Dade β€” mostly grains and veggies β€”is primarily consumed here.

The big picture: Across the U.S., the food system is "brittle and centralized" and could be disrupted, Kruse adds.

  • "The key solution is diversifying our food systems and supporting farmers using more climate-friendly agricultural practices."

Meanwhile: The team's interactive map shows the top five source counties for Miami-Dade's plant-based food are: nearby Broward, Ramsey in North Dakota, Madison in Tennessee, Lawrence in Missouri and St. Lucie near Fort Pierce.

  • The research also reveals that much of our food flows through Port Everglades in Broward.
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