In the voice of Justin Timberlake, “It’s gonna be May.” It is May. But still.
A few quick reasons to eat more foods in season when possible:
1: It’s cheaper. Not surprisingly, it costs a lot of money to have food shipped or flown or trucked in from climates able to grow foods not currently in season where you live. That cost and others incurred shows up in the produce price.
2: It tastes better. Foods that travel many miles to get to your plate may have been picked prematurely in order to “ripen” during transport and on the shelf so that it isn’t spoiled by the time it reaches you. That ripening while being disconnected from its nutrient source, the plant, is one reason store bought produce grown out of season pales in comparison in taste to a backyard tomato or local berry grown in season.
3: It’s more nutritious: some studies show produce grown during peak season have higher vitamin and other nutrient content than those grown out of season. (PMID: 17852499) Also, sometimes foods are able to be grown year round due to the help of chemicals, gases, and other treatments that modify or slow the ripening process and keep pathogens at bay during long transports.
4: Better for the environment. Produce grown out of season typically travels very far and must travel by plane, train, and/or ship using plenty of fuel and creating emissions along the way. A large portion of produce sold in the US is already imported. Buying local and seasonal can have impact here.
5: Can support your local farmers. There are oftentimes local farmers working hard to bring the best produce to us and doing things the old fashioned way. Buying from them when possible can help them continue to provide good food for others while giving us better quality food too.
This is not a comprehensive list of seasonal produce nor is it an exhaustive list of benefits of eating seasonally. Just some examples to look for and consider in case that’s helpful. xo