The History of Foodways in Florida
Teacher's Guide for Food, Politics and Government

Promoting Florida's Citrus and Seafood

Typically, we think of food production and marketing as the domain of the private sector – farmers, supermarket chains, produce stands and processing factories. However, state and local governments have often considered food marketing, promotion and nutritional guidance within their mandate as well. These activities have generally been closely related to key public interests, such as public health and the vitality of key industries. In Florida, the citrus and seafood industries have received an especially great amount of assistance from state agencies. Florida has even had a Department of Citrus since 1935!

About These Documents

These documents come mainly from the Florida Board of Conservation and the Florida Citrus Commission, two state agencies that have historically been heavily involved in promoting Florida agricultural products.

Several of the letters pertain to an attempt in the 1960s to can Florida mullet and market it nationwide as “lisa.” The term “mullet” actually describes several species of fish, only one or two of which are typically eaten as food. Mullet is considered a fine fish for eating in some parts of Florida, but outside the state it is seldom used for anything but bait. As canned tuna and salmon began replacing fresh mullet and other fish in the Floridian diet after World War II, the Florida Board of Conservation began looking for ways to prop up the struggling mullet industry. They encouraged canneries to begin processing mullet and selling it under a new name, “lisa,” derived from a Spanish word for one species of mullet. Several of these documents illustrate the strategies employed by the Board of Conservation to market lisa. Additional items document strategies the Board pursued to market other Florida seafood products.

The photographs and the films “Road to Beauty” and “Design for Winning” are examples of the Florida Citrus Commission’s efforts to promote consumption of orange juice and other Florida citrus products.

Big Questions

  • What is the role of the state in food production and consumption?
  • What strategies have state and local governments employed to affect food production and consumption in Florida?

 

Next Generation Sunshine State Standards

  • SS.4.A.1.1: Analyze primary and secondary resources to identify significant individuals and events throughout Florida history.
  • SS.8.A.1.7: View historic events through the eyes of those who were there as shown in their art, writings, music, and artifacts.
  • SS.912.A.6.15: Examine key events and peoples in Florida history as they relate to United States history.
    Examples are Mosquito Fleet, "Double V Campaign," construction of military bases and WWII training centers, 1959 Cuban coup and its impact on Florida, development of the space program and NASA.
  • SS.912.A.7.17: Examine key events and key people in Florida history as they relate to United States history.
    Examples are selection of Central Florida as a location for Disney, growth of the citrus and cigar industries, construction of Interstates, Harry T. Moore, Pork Chop Gang, Claude Pepper, changes in the space program, use of DEET, Hurricane Andrew, the Election of 2000, migration and immigration, Sunbelt state.

Florida Standards

  • LAFS.4.RI.1.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • LAFS.4.RI.1.2: Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • LAFS.4.RI.1.3: Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
  • LAFS.4.RI.1.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • LAFS.68.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • LAFS.68.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • LAFS.68.RH.2.6: Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
  • LAFS.68.RH.3.7: Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • LAFS.910.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
  • LAFS.910.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
  • LAFS.1112.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
  • LAFS.1112.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.