For most of us, the taste of the food we buy is every bit as important as the cost, if not more so. When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world, and both affect the taste. Compare a dark red, vine-ripened tomato still warm from the summer sun with a winter hothouse tomato that’s barely red, somewhat mealy, and lacking in flavor. When transporting crops, they must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t rot during transportation. They may not ripen as effectively as they would in their natural environment and as a result they don’t develop their full flavor.
Foods lose flavor just as they lose moisture when they are held. Fresh, locally harvested foods have their full, whole flavors intact, which they release to us when we eat them. Foods that are chilled and shipped lose flavor at every step of the way – chilling cuts their flavor, transport cuts their flavor, being held in warehouses cuts their flavor.