LET’S TALK ABOUT SEASONAL EATING
Ever wonder how you can buy pineapples in December or pumpkins in June? This is made possible due to technological advancements in agriculture which allow us to enjoy a variety of different fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes year-round. However, the plants we eat naturally grow according to the seasons. Looking into the produce that’s naturally grown in YOUR area can be beneficial to both our health and the environment! Just like the plants that grow on Earth, our bodies are constantly ebbing and flowing over the course of a year. It only makes sense that we should be changing what we eat as the seasons change. For example, many fruits with high water contents like watermelon and peaches naturally grow in the summer months to help us cool down and hydrate.
Eating locally sourced foods from farmers’ markets, for example, is a sustainable eating practice because it eliminates carbon emissions and reduces our carbon footprint. This means that this food is not traveling far to end up on your plate in the form of transportation, shipping, and distributing. You can find local food products at the farmer’s market or by supporting local brands at the grocery store near you. In-season fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes will naturally be in their freshest and most nutritious form. Further, produce will have a superior taste when grown in its preferred natural environment rather than artificial conditions that ensure availability throughout the year. This is because food manufacturers have to harvest under-ripe produce to prevent spoiling before it reaches the grocery store. Local farmers, on the other hand, can pluck the perfect raspberry at peak ripeness and sell it to you the same day! Purchasing seasonal foods thus supports the local farmers and community vendors while favoring sustainable farming practices.
Some seasonal produce for spring includes:
Fruits – cherries, apricots, strawberries
Leafy Greens – arugula, spinach, dandelion greens, pea greens
Root Vegetables – new potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips
Legumes – peas, fava bean
Remember that there is no such thing as the perfect diet, nor are there “good” or “bad” foods! Eating seasonally is not realistic 100% of the time; however, it is a great way to learn about the natural produce in your area, support local farmers, and protect the environment. Eating fruits and vegetables that are in-season may be more affordable because the supply is larger and demand is lower. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to branch out of our normal eating habits and try new and fresh foods that will taste amazing! Follow along on the Fare Meals website for easy and nutritious recipes using affordable and seasonal ingredients!