Grocery stores can be hard to navigate when you’re trying to shop for seasonal produce. The relevant fruits and vegetables are always changing depending on the season, they carry items that are ‘out of season’, and it’ll vary depending on where you’re located geographically. Depending on where you are, here’s a link to make it easy for your to determine what is abundant in you’re area: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
What is seasonal food?
Seasonal food is produce that purchased or consumed around the time that it was harvested by farmers. “In season” also means when that specific food is most plentiful.
Why should I shop seasonally?
1. In season produce is fresher.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms are often fresher, as they do not require long distances for transport. You can really taste the ‘farm-to-table’ freshness.
2. In season produce tastes better.
Unlike out of season produce, which is harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store, crops picked at their peak of ripeness are also better tasting and full of flavor.
3. In season produce is more nutritious.
Studies have shown that allowing fruits and vegetables to reach their peak ripeness, or grow fully on their parent plant, have more nutrients than if harvested early.
Why should I shop locally?
1. Shopping locally is better for the environment.
Purchasing locally grown foods helps support local farms and maintains farmland and open space in your community. Because of a decrease in transport time or “food miles”, we use less fossil fuels that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Shopping locally is supports your local economy.
The money that you are spending on produce from local farmers stays in the community. That money is the reinvested with other local businesses. In addition, food grown locally, processed locally and distributed locally (for example, to local restaurants) generates jobs and eventually helps to stimulate local economies.
3. Shopping locally can give confidence in your food.
Local growers, usually at farmer’s markets, can tell you exactly how the produce was grown. Buying directly from farmers gives you the chance to ask questions about their practices they are using to grow and harvest their crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you will feel more confident about putting it into your body.
Shopping locally and seasonally clearly has its benefits, we hope that this article inspires you to check out your local farmer’s market, and shop some of your favorite seasonal produce! Happy eating!