Eating seasonally is good for your health, good for your wallet, and good for the planet.
Seasonal, locally grown foods harvested during the peak of their crops are indeed a treasure to behold. That is when they taste their best and are most nutritious.
Fruits and vegetables found in the produce department of your local grocery story just can’t compare. They have likely been trucked in from miles away, which means they were harvested before their peak. And they were probably subjected to cold storage, and then to add insult to injury were forced to ripen in a hot house. Not only will you find them to be somewhat tasteless, but they are not as nutritious.
Winter root vegetables are healthy, comforting and sustaining when used in soups and stews for cold weather dinners. And summer stone fruits have extra beta carotenoids which help to protect against sun damage. Plus, the fruits and vegetables of summer are lighter and easy to eat in summer salads on hot days when you don’t want to cook.
Following the seasons as you plan your meals makes tons of sense as it also helps to ease the burden on your wallet because your food mileage cost will not be as high. Food miles include the cost of processing, packaging, and transportation. And this also equates to fewer gas emissions.
It really is a win, win!
You should be especially cautious of food which is shipped from outside of the country. You need to keep in mind that their regulations for pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are most likely different from ours. Also, the soil might be contaminated.
Once you’ve made the decision to buy seasonally it’s a good idea to also buy in bulk. If you buy in bulk what is plentiful you can preserve it yourself by pickling, fermenting, or freezing. Then you will have your own supply of these delicious foods. And you will know where they came from and what is in them.
You can refer to this site for a list of what’s “in” and what’s “out” in your particular area as its lists are categorized by state.
Here’s a challenge for you. Find your state and find the season and pick which fruit/vegetables you’d like to purchase and plan your next few meals around them. This might be backwards from what you do now. I’m guessing that you usually pick your protein and go from there, but I’m thinking that this would be worth trying. And I would love to hear from you in the comments section below, if you do try it, how it goes for you.