Food consumed in season is fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than food consumed outside of season. For example, although we all enjoy strawberries throughout the year, the best time to eat them is when they are available for purchase directly from a local producer right after harvest. Seasonal fruits and vegetables grown on local farms are frequently fresher because they are not transported over large distances. Crops picked at their peak of maturity are also superior tasting and full of flavor, unlike out-of-season food harvested early to be exported and distributed to your local retail store. Furthermore, studies have indicated that fruits and vegetables left to ripen naturally on their parent plant have higher nutrients.
Why is it vital to eat foods grown locally?
Buying goods grown locally supports local farms and helps preserve farmland and open space in your town.
Buying local food helps to support the local economy. Money spent on local farmers’ and growers’ products stays in the community and is re-invested in other local companies. Furthermore, food raised, processed, and supplied locally (for example, to local restaurants) creates jobs and contributes to local economies’ growth.
You can find out how the food was raised by asking local growers.
When you buy directly from farmers, you have the opportunity to inquire about the farming and harvesting methods they employ. You learn more about your food when you know where it comes from and who raised it. I get to know my farmers at the market, know when the produce is picked, and even swap recipes with them!
Why you should eat seasonal foods
#1. Flavor and Freshness
Biting into a crisp, juicy apple in the fall or a beautiful plump strawberry in the height of the summer heat. Seasonally cultivated produce has the best flavor! Have you ever bit into a green banana? It doesn’t taste the same as a ripe banana. When it’s fully ripened and harvested at the right time, it ensures that it gets fresh from the farm to your hand. When you choose to eat with the seasons, you can expect fresher, sweeter, better-tasting, more flavorful, and colorful fruits and veggies!
#2. Seasonal food is more nutritious
The great thing about eating whole foods right from the ground is that they’re packed with vitamins and minerals that promote good health. But what if we could further improve their nutritional profile? You can do it with seasonal eating! Seasonally fresh produce is gathered at the peak of the season when it is fully formed. The main health benefit of locally grown food is that it’s newer. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked, so fresher produce is more nutritious. In addition, locally grown food is picked at its peak ripeness when it’s most dense with nutrients. As a result, higher amounts of antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, folate, and beta-carotene, are associated with ideal growing conditions and increased sun exposure!
#3. Your body will thank you
Only the veggies, fruits, and leafy greens that grew well in that season and climate were available to our forefathers. The natural cycle of crops and vegetables is designed to meet our nutritional and health demands for the current season of life! In the spring, leafy greens help alkalize our bodies and aid in detoxification. Hydrating foods like watermelon, grapes, and cucumbers keep us hydrated in the summer heat. Winter squashes and root vegetables make robust stews and soups that provide warmth and comfort during the long winter months.
#4. Buying in season is more environmentally friendly
When you buy produce in season, it’s less likely to be sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. Not to mention the fact that these poisonous substances deplete the land, pollute the water, and harm our health. Buying seasonally also allows you to help local farmers without even realizing it. Local food necessitates less shipping, forced ripening, refrigeration, and chemical use.
#5. Buying seasonally will save you $$$
Purchasing seasonal produce is typically less expensive than buying that same fruit or vegetable during its off-season. This relates to the simple concept of supply and demand; in-season produce is in ample supply, so it is sold at lower prices to maintain demand, and the cost of a crop will be substantially lower if there is an abundance of it. Local farmers will also save money on travel and storage when the product is in season. These things contribute to the lower pricing we see in the store!