Befefits of Eating Seasonal Produce

As the weather changes across the globe so does the fresh produce that is available. Each season offers an array of beautiful fresh produce, this is a great time to start experimenting and trying new recipes or reworking those old ones to incorporate more seasonal fruits and vegetables. Here are six reasons to eat with the seasons.

Tastes Better
In-season produce is fresher and tastes better. When fruits and vegetables are picked for immediate consumption, they have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time. When transporting crops, it must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t spoil during transportation; chilling will reduce the flavor. Then when they get to their destination they then may need to be heated in a hot house to artificially ripen the produce before it goes onto the shelves, this greatly reduces the flavor, changes the texture and the taste.

Lower Cost
When farmers are harvesting a large abundance of produce due to the crop being in season, the cost of the produce will go down. When the produce is locally sourced because it’s in season in your area, travelling expenses and storage are not required therefore reducing the production costs that are then passed onto the consumer.

Higher Nutritional Value
Produce that is purchased in season is more likely to be fresher, consumed closer to harvesting and higher in nutritional value, some anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes will rapidly decline when stored for periods of time. Locally in-season sourced fruits and vegetables will also appear brighter and more vibrant rather than limp and dried up. Fruits and vegetables that are stored for long periods of time due to transportation or to be used at a later date have a reduction in nutrient content. Large markets and grocers may buy out of -season produce that has been gassed, irradiated, or and preserved in wax to extent the shelf life.

Avoids Overseas Contaminates
When fruits and vegetables are sourced overseas you can’t be sure what their regulations for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are. Many countries across the globe have very relaxed laws about chemicals being sprayed on fruits and vegetables that other countries have banned due to their known harmful effects. Overseas agriculture may not regulate soil contamination tests to ensure land and soil quality.

Supports Your Body’s Natural Nutritional Needs
In winter we are provided by nature all things citrus, these are particularly high in Vitamin C which is very important for preventing infections such as colds and flu’s. Winter vegetables offer comfort and are perfect for hot meals, healthy stews, soups, casseroles and other warming meals. Summer foods such as stone fruits provide us with extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage.

More Environmentally-Friendly
Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports more local produce and supports local farming in your area which means less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses, and less irradiation of produce.

It’s really important to note that it’s not always possible to eat locally and seasonally for everyone all of the time. It’s more about the importance of making decisions where possible that are better for you, your wallet and your health where you can.