We’ve come to terms with the fact long summer days are now behind us, but with the arrival of autumn comes a host of yummy, seasonal fruit and vegetables for us to enjoy!
During the summer, strawberries, raspberries and tomatoes taste especially juicy and refreshing. When the weather gets cooler, we turn to warm, filling foods like sweet potatoes, parsnips and potatoes. While this change in our palate can be a result of cravings, it has more to do with the seasonality and flavor of the foods we eat.
Today it’s so easy to transport food long distances that we take it for granted the fact we can eat fresh berries in January or have avocado toast every day. Yet many of us have no clue when fruits and veggies are actually in season where we live. Here are 6 Reasons to Eat Seasonally.
6 Reasons to Eat Seasonally
1. Reduced Cost
One of the most important reasons to eat seasonally is cost. It takes a lot of energy and resources to manage, package, and transport foods from further afield that are out of season locally. This adds to the cost and takes money out of your pocket. Foods in season are more plentiful, therefore they are often on offer in your local supermarket.
2. Seasonal Eating is Healthier
When a fruit or veg is picked before it’s ripe, its nutrients haven’t fully developed (and they can’t continue to develop, as the plant is starved of the sunshine it needs to grow). Foods consumed closer to when they are harvested are fresher and more nutrient dense. Bottom line, shorter transit means less degradation. And, the seasonality of crops also affects their nutrient profile: for example, broccoli grown in autumn (its peak season) is going higher levels of vitamin C than when grown in spring.
3. It’s Better for the Environment
Produce grown out of season takes a huge amount of resources in one of two ways. Firstly, it can take a lot of extra energy to recreate the natural growing season in an artificial way. Secondly, to transport it across the world to you. Large amounts of fuel are needed to transport non-seasonal fruits and vegetables, whereas local, in-season foods do not. This reduces your carbon footprint!
4. Support Local Farms and Businesses
Support local producers by visiting your nearest Farmers Markets, or independent grocers. In addition, purchasing locally builds your local economy instead of handing over the earnings to a corporation in another city, state, or country. Also, since the food itself moves through less hands, more of the money you spend will end up in the pockets of those raising and growing those foods!
5. Seasonal Food Tastes Much Better
Sometimes fruits and veggies don’t top the fave foods list (aka Brussels sprouts). As a child, I often wondered why I needed to add sugar to my strawberries. Looking back, it was probably because I was eating them in December and they didn’t have much flavour.
Basically, mass-produced produce intended to meet global consumer demand tends to suffer from a lack of flavour. In short, the goal of commercial farms is to produce a volume of “produce” to meet the high demand. Unfortunately, quantity and appearance override taste.
6. Seasonal Eating Adds Variety and Appreciation
You know there is more to produce than carrots, celery, apples, and bananas, right? What if you could only eat produce that was available seasonally? Well, then nearly every month you’d be eating something shiny and new. You’d always be inspired, always exploring new recipes and tastes, and enjoying the variety. It is the spice of life after all.
I also think that the short growing season of certain items – like wild leeks and rhubarb – or only eating berries a few months of the year allows us to appreciate and enjoy them even more.
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Business Development Manager
Annie is our Business Development Manager here at GourmetFuel. Annie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Food Innovation at the Technology University of Dublin. Before joining the team at GourmetFuel, she worked for a successful start-up company based in New York City where she gained valuable experience in product development, food safety, and allergen management and control. Her areas of interest are food business sustainability, health promotion, and nutrition research.
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