What is seasonal food?
Seasonal food is produce that is purchased and consumed around the time that it is harvested. Seasonality can be defined as either globally seasonal (i.e. produced in the natural production season but consumed anywhere in the world) or locally seasonal (i.e. produced in the natural production season and consumed within the same climatic zone).
Why is it important to eat food that’s in season?
Seasonal food is fresher, tastier and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Even though we all like to eat strawberries year round, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower shortly after harvest. Seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms are often fresher, as they do not require long distances for transport. Also, 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. What’s more, studies have shown that fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when allowed to ripen naturally on their parent plant.
Why is eating local food important?
- Local food benefits the environment. Purchasing locally grown foods helps support local farms and maintains farmland and open space in your community. A recent USDA study also found that direct-to-consumer producers were less likely to apply pesticides and herbicides to control weeds and insects than conventional producers (with the exception of chemicals to control insects and weeds in fruit, nut and berry crops).
- Local food supports the local economy. The money you spend on products from local farmers and growers stays in the community and is reinvested with other local businesses. In addition, food grown locally, processed locally and distributed locally (for example, to local restaurants) generates jobs and subsequently helps stimulate local economies.
- Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. When you buy directly from farmers, you have the opportunity to ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about your food
- Blood oranges
- Custard apples
- Fuji apples
- Navel oranges
- Brown onions
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese greens
- Dutch carrots
- English spinach
- Gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Kumara or sweet potatoes
Love. Always. Mangia.