Why eat seasonally when grocery stores stock everything all year round? Well, have you ever eaten a tomato in winter? Pretty tasteless, right? Same with eating strawberries or peaces in the fall. Not only do they lack flavor, but they cost a lot, too. But, what does it mean to eat seasonally? How do we know what’s “in season?”
When we eat seasonally, it means consuming fruits and vegetables that are harvested during the same time of year as consumption. For example, eating citrus during the winter and asparagus during the spring. It also often means eating locally. Experts notoriously recommend a diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season because of the many benefits associated with it.
Since the start of mass agriculture, buying produce year-round is easy and convenient. Unfortunately, this disrupts the quality of the produce, the environment, and the local economy. This is why eating seasonally is important and should be practiced as much as possible. Your body will thank you, too.
Why Eat Seasonally: a Few Reasons
Higher nutrients and better flavor
Produce that is consumed in season is higher in nutritional value because farmers harvested it closer to the time of consumption. Out of season foods typically need to be transported from long distances. That’s why they lack flavor and sometimes don’t even ripen! This also affects the nutrient value of the food because the time between harvest and eating it is a lot longer. Nutritional value increases as produces ripens on the vine or tree since it continues to draw up minerals from the soil as long as it remains attached to the plant.
Eat seasonally for fewer pesticides
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically organic meaning they are sprayed with fewer pesticides; if any at all. Even if they’re not organic, it takes less work to grow food during it’s ideal season. Plants naturally produce their own pesticides when grown in their native environment, during their appropriate season.
When we eat seasonally, it’s best to buy produce from your local farmers market. As more produce is consumed seasonally, the demand for out of season produce lessens. That means less transport of produce around the country and across the world. Less shipping time also mean betters flavor and higher nutrient content.
Reconnect with nature
Our bodies were meant to eat different foods as the season changes. During the fall and winter, we crave comfort food to gain more weight and to keep us warm. While in spring, we crave greens that are low in calories, to help us detox and lose the weight gained during winter. Finally, in summer we eat cool and refreshing produce to keep us cool and hydrated. God provides exactly what our bodies need at the time that they need it.
When you eat seasonally, you also add more variety and excitement to your diet. It even supports your local economy because it is best to buy in-season produce from your local farmers market. As you continue to eat foods that are in season you will notice plenty of health benefits as well. Such as clearer skin, a healthier weight, and more energy. That is because fruits and vegetables offer lots of nutrition and are typically lower in calories.