In an age of modern food processing and world-wide distribution, seasonal eating may be a completely foreign concept to some. It’s recently been labeled as a “trend,” but before transportation was as speedy as it is today, eating seasonally and locally was the norm.
What is seasonal eating?
Seasonal eating consists of two practices. First, it means building dishes and meals around foods that have been harvested at their peak. Well-known examples include eating berries in Summer and apples in Autumn.
Second, it means adjusting your diet to incorporate foods that will help you meet the particular health challenges of the current season. For example, you may get less vitamin D in the Winter, so you try to consume foods like fatty fish, cheese, and eggs.
What are the benefits of seasonal eating?
You have access to fruits and vegetables that taste better and have more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables that are out of season are often picked before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances. Produce that has just been harvested has not had time to lose its flavor or health benefits by sitting in a shipping container.
You can support local farmers and businesses. Eating seasonally often means eating locally-grown foods, which is also good for the environment! (Bonus – check out our blog post on Local Sourcing!)
You can save money! Foods that are at the peak of their supply cost farmers and distribution companies less to harvest and get to the grocery store, which means you wind up paying less.
It connects you to the seasons and gives you a wider variety of foods in your diet. What’s better than delicious sweetness of fresh corn, or biting into a juicy summer peach? Eating seasonal foods can also expose you to dishes and ingredients you may not have otherwise considered.
How can I get started?
First, take a look at some resources that will tell you what’s seasonal in your area. There are several books and websites on the subject that make it super easy to find fruits, vegetables, and even meats and eggs that are in season. Check out some of the websites below: