Your export is showing that you are resizing to 700 ppi. This appears to be a significant reduction from the original file. Also you have applied no output sharpening.
I would suggest that export with no resizing. Check output sharpening screen, standard and then make your comparison.
I followed your suggestion and exported with no resizing and I set the export sharpening to standard. I think that seemed to help a bit, however how do you recommend I shrink the image down to the size I need it?
Correction: That did not work. It looked ok on the one image I tested, but when I went back to edit the food I shared in my original screen shot, I still have the exact same issue. Is Lightroom unable to transfer highly sharpened images? That is the main difference between the two images I tested, the image I shared in the screenshot has a lot of defined crumbs on the deep fried sauerkraut balls, and I want them to stay sharp after exporting. I didn't really notice a big quality issue with the softer image I was editing.
I got it figured out. There appears to be an issue with Lightroom that causes my images to compress poorly when they are real large. I found that if I shrink the photo down prior to bringing it into Lightroom, then I can edit it and export it perfectly. I don't notice any quality degradation when I do that. I am curious if this is a bug similar to what they had with the release of LR 5. Lightroom 5 Hot Issues
In your export settings, you have width=700px, ppi=1000, sharpen=none.
What happens if you pick something a bit more reasonable, like width=700px, ppi=72, sharpen=screen-medium ?
Here's of my export settings. I have tried it with both "Sharpen for" checked and unchecked.
Please help me figure this out before I throw this program out the window!
Your Export Resize settings don't make sense: Width & Height 700 x 0 and 'Don't Enlarge'? I'm not even sure what that means! Try using Long Edge 700 pixels and uncheck 'Don't Enlarge,' since it doesn't apply when reducing the file dimensions. Screen Standard Sharpening should produce good sharpening.
It still isn't as sharp using though settings.
Though oddly enough, I don't know how it even let me do 700x0 before. Now it gives me an error message when I try replicating that.
OK, after closer examination of your screenshot the problem appears to be with your 'Detail panel Sharpening settings in the Develop module:
You are using the Maximum 150 Sharpening Amount setting and a high 63 Detail setting. This introduces "noise" in the image, which creates softening and can even make the image appear lighter. It looks like you are shooting camera JPEG files (DSC_3017.JPG), which already have in-camera sharpening applied to the file. This is most likely the cause your issue. The LR Develop module uses a different algorithm (nearest-neighbor) for creating the screen preview and is only accurate at 1:1 Zoom view setting. You should always use the 1:1 Zoom view setting when making any adjustments in the Detail panel, by clicking on the ! icon in the Detail panel:
For a JPEG file that already has sharpening applied you shouldn't need more than Sharpening Amount 25, Radius .8 to 1.2, Detail 25, and Masking 0. If noise is present in the image you should also apply Luminance and Color Noise Reduction, as required. If shooting camera raw images (NEF files) these settings may need to be somewhat higher, but rarely higher than Sharpening Amount 50. The 100 to 150 Amount setting range should only be used when applying very high amounts of Sharpening Masking, but I've never needed more than Amount 50 to 100 and typically 35. is See this post for more info as to why: Re: Develop module & library module aren't matching
When Resizing images on Export the Output Sharpening setting (Screen Standard, Screen High) determines the actual sharpness in the smaller image file that is exported.
Thanks, that does seem to bring it closer in line with what I want.