Buying South Carolina Foods

Adair Hoover,
Food Safety Agent,
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service

HTF 0817

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We are very fortunate to have an abundance of options for SC grown, harvested, and produced foods. Choosing foods produced locally has many advantages. Read on for resources to help you know what, when and where your options for South Carolina grown and produced foods are.

What are the advantages to buying local food products?

  1. Fresh foods that are grown locally don’t have far to travel. You are likely to get these foods at the peak of ripeness with an end result of superior quality and nutrition.
  2. It is good for your pocketbook and stimulates the local economy. No middleman means savings for you and boosting the local economy is good for everyone. 
  3. Farmers, ranchers, and food producers are experts in their field. They are a great resource for helping you to pick the best food and can offer information on storage and cooking.
  4. Shopping at local markets and roadside stands builds a sense of community. The more relaxed atmosphere often inspires a social setting. Talking with friends and neighbors while shopping can result in a sense of well-being and happiness.

So, what do you need to know about shopping for SC grown foods? There are several types of sales venues for local foods. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has detailed lists on their website including:

Certified Roadside Markets: These markets meet SCDA standards, are reputable and offer a good supply of SC farm products. There are 164 Certified Roadside markets listed in SC. You can search for the ones near you by visiting:

https://agriculture.sc.gov/where-to-buy-local/certified-roadside-markets/

If you don’t have computer access, you contact Jennifer Badger @ 803-734-0648.

Community supported agriculture (CSA): These consist of a community of individuals who share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing. There are 23 CSAs listed on the SCDA website at:

https://agriculture.sc.gov/where-to-buy-local/community-supported-agriculture-csa/ 

Search the filter by county for CSAs near you.

State Farmers Markets: The State of South Carolina owns and manages three regional state farmer’s markets in Columbia, Florence, and Greenville which provide consumers with a wide variety of locally grown produce and specialty products. For details visit:

https://agriculture.sc.gov/divisions/agricultural-services/state-farmers-markets/

Community-Based Farmers Markets: These farmer’s markets sell a variety of SC foods including: vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and more. There are 140 listed for South Carolina. To find a farmer’s market in your area go to the following link and filter by county:

https://agriculture.sc.gov/where-to-buy-local/community-based-farmers-markets/

Meat and Poultry:  Buying meat and poultry that is raised in South Carolina reduces your carbon footprint (the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.), and that is good for the earth and your bank account! It can also allow you to get first-hand knowledge related to how your foods are handled before you eat it. Most farmers and ranchers are proud of their practices and will be happy to share with you the methods that they use to produce these foods.

SC Grown Beef for Sale at Bee Well Honey & Natural Market
SC Grown Beef for Sale at Bee Well Honey & Natural Market
Adair Hoover, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension

South Carolina meat and poultry is regulated by the South Carolina Meat and Poultry Inspection Service. You can find details at
http://www.clemson.edu/public/lph/scmpid/index.htmlor call @ 803-788-8747

For a list of SC meat and poultry companies go to:
State Meat Establishments:
https://clemson.app.box.com/s/yq7r52v826lv1mwbr0zqqi6jjuwdttsp

State Poultry Establishments:
https://clemson.app.box.com/s/efjv002anyz9ytiz65fa1orlqqthj0ch

Fish & Shellfish

There are miles of coastal lands, lakes, and rivers in South Carolina. Fish and seafood that are processed for sales are regulated by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. When buying fish and shellfish that have been processed (cleaned, dressed, gutted, or scaled), check with the seller and confirm that the processing was conducted in an approved facility and that the producer has completed Seafood HACCP Training.

Specialty Foods

If you are seeking prepared foods that are made in South Carolina, check out the South Carolina Specialty Foods Association. Jams, jellies, sauces, rubs, baked goods, pastas, and coffee are just a few of the many products produced in South Carolina. You can download a list of SC specialty products and producers at: http://www.scsfa.org/catalog Additionally, many of specialty products are sold at local markets, roadside stands, and specialty stores. And often, your local grocery store will feature local foods.

Variety of Specialty Foods for Sale at Bee Well Honey & Natural Market
Variety of Specialty Foods for Sale at Bee Well Honey & Natural Market
Adair Hoover, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Page maintained by: Home & Garden Information Center

This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.