Why should we make the conscious choice to only choose seasonal foods? According to scientists, researchers, and natural health experts, it is important to eat with the cycles of nature and only consume food that was grown at the time you are eating it. Eating seasonally goes beyond flavor, with benefits for your health, the planet, and your wallet.
Because of modern agriculture and food processing techniques, most foods are available year round. We forget that food availability changes with the seasons. So even though technology makes it possible for us to eat tomatoes in the dead of winter, that doesn’t mean we should do it.
Discover what’s in season now and why you should embrace eating seasonally this autumn…
Flavour: The best consequence of eating seasonally is that you get the best tasting food available. Produce that has been allowed to fully ripen tastes amazing! Ripe and ready produce has the optimal flavour. When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world, and both affect the taste. Compare a dark red, vine-ripened tomato still warm from the summer sun with a winter hothouse tomato that’s barely red, somewhat mealy, and lacking in flavor. When transporting crops, they must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t rot during transportation. They may not ripen as effectively as they would in their natural environment and as a result they don’t develop their full flavor.
Nutrition: Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when they’re ripe and fully developed. The plant has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants. Studies have shown that some crops can have up to three times more nutrients when grown in season.
Economy: Simply supply and demand. When there’s abundance of a product, such as watermelons in the summer, the prices go down. When you buy what’s in season, you buy food that’s at the peak of its supply, when it costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and get to your grocery store.
Environment: Seasonal produce can grow without too much added human assistance i.e. pesticides and genetic modification. We know how these toxic compounds can contaminate the water and soil and also our health. Seasonal food is more likely to be locally produced as well, which reduces the load on our environment due to transport, or “food mileage”.
Supports your needs: In winter nature provides us with 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, they also provide more sweetness for an energetic summer, as well as salad vegetables for those tasty cool summer salads.
So what is in season for us to enjoy this month?
- Broad bean
So, eat what is in season and you’ll be rewarded with high quality produce, packed with nutrition, at a lower cost. And your taste buds will definitely thank you for it!