Monday, August 15, 2016

Making it count - Seasonal Foods

The biggest impact that people face when choosing to buy seasonal foods is the cost and convenience factor. With a large number of availability for seasonal foods to be purchased from, the problem lies in the idea that it was cost to much. However, there has been a lost in translation of how affordable it can be for common people to obtain these products. The idea behind this is to look at the benefits that could be gained rather than the price tag on the product.

" Increased geographic availability means a shorter span between harvest and table, which preserves more nutrition since nutrients break down as fruits and vegetables wait for consumption."

This allows for people to have quicker access to these seasonal foods in a timely matter, gather more benefits choosing seasonal foods than foods that are not in season.
Some great ways to make this more economical when the seasonal foods are high in price are as followed:
  • Start with a plan. Make a chart for every day of the week filling in main dish items and other foods you will serve at a meal. Since the main dish is usually the most expensive part of the meal, make your plan around that food.
  • Check newspaper ads for special sales. Planning your meals around specials and seasonal foods can help save money. Compare advertised prices among stores to find where you can save the most on your entire shopping list. Buy only what you can use and compare prices with those found in other ads. Be aware that specials and coupon offers invite you to buy impulsively. And impulsive buying can blow your budget. Even at special prices and with refunds or coupons, some foods may not be within your budget.
  • Clip coupons. You can save money if the item is one you would normally buy and if the item is less expensive than similar brands. Most cents-off coupons offered by stores or manufacturers are for the more expensive, highly processed foods or for foods in abundant supply. But using coupons for coffee, prepared foods, cereals, flour and flour mix products can save about 10 percent in most food budgets. Don’t use a coupon to justify buying a food that your family doesn’t need or that costs more than a store brand, even with the coupon savings.
  • Take advantage of seasonal specials. Foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, are generally less expensive when in great sup-ply.
  • Consider food preferences. When you serve popular foods, you increase eating pleasure. Make a collection of economical, nutritious recipes that your family likes and serve them often.
  • Think appetite appeal. Since we eat with our eyes, plan meals using foods of contrasting colors, textures, flavors, sizes and shapes.
  • Plan the use of leftovers. They can be used in casseroles, soups, for snacks and in lunch boxes.

    These few suggestions can make a huge difference when going to the store a purchasing the desired products without breaking the bank.

Food Economics

With the relationship between the quality of food, specifically seasonal foods, and the economically impact both on the market and in a sustainably means there has developed a connection between the two ideas that has created a interesting study for this environment. The idea being that the question 'what are the connections between the seasonal food subject and the economics behind it?' is being asked.  

"In the last several decades, the economics of the food system have changed dramatically.  Millions of farms have folded as government policy has encouraged larger, more intensive farm operations, such as the factory farm model for producing meat, eggs and dairy."

As more consumers consider the environmental, health and social consequences of industrial food production, demand for sustainably raised foods is growing. According to the USDA, farmers are dedicating more and more land to organic production in response to consumer demand, with total organic acreage increasing at a rate of 15 percent annually. 

This is interesting and relatable to our subject matter because it takes a look at what the cost both finically and economically of choosing a seasonal foods option. 

Local seasonal foods

For this terms group project, the main idea was the focus on what seasonal food do and how it has a connection between the consumer and sustainability. Another interesting aspect that it generates on this topic is the idea of local seasonal foods. There are huge benefits when buying seasonal foods that add to the overall wellness to someones life. Both health expects and chefs recognize that seasonal foods give a variety of benefits to those who enjoy a large range of food. The interesting subject added on to this is that economically, its actually very good for people on a budget to buy locally and seasonally.

"Perhaps the biggest tangible benefit of eating seasonally is that you'll save money on food. When you buy what's in season, you buy food that's at the peak of its supply, and costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and get to your grocery store. It may seem like common sense, but it's one of those things many of us ignore when we're shopping."

The benefits don't just stop at saving a few bucks for shopping local and getting a great quality product that comes around a couple times a year. It actually helps support the local community where the products are being purchased, helps independent farmers and business, and a increase in local products and seasonal foods.


Sustainable living practices

With our focus on the quality of products and the ties it has with better standards of living and sustainability, its important to note how someone can achieve this by changing behaviors in their lives. Food is just one quality to look at when talking about the subject of sustainable living practices. What are the other factors that people should strive for and what can they change right now to benefit from those results?

Some easy ways to achieve this will benefiting the community:

1. Become a member of your community
2. Practice minimization
3. Walk, bike, or car pool
4. Get more natural sleep
5. Buy with purpose and with information

These are simple ways to start on a path that can allow for people to make healthy change in their lives, which helps the community all together. Something that people can take away from the project and this post on sustainable living practices is that anyone can do it and that it doesn't take much to start. And although the project focused on the idea of seasonal food, its important to see the connections to other aspects of life that can help influence a more sustainable attitude on life.