What happens when we eat in season…
There is a new movement in the holistic health industry advocating the consumption of produce that is in season. Here are some of the reasons:
in season nutrition goes up
Seasonally fresh produce is picked when it is ripe and ready. So the plant has had more sun exposure and therefore the produce contains higher levels of nutrition and antioxidants.
In season flavor is better
Freshly picked produce has the best flavor. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption after being naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, it will have much more flavor. It is crispy, fragrant, juicy and colorful. The same cannot be said of imported produce.
Support for local farmers
Seasonal produce is most likely to be local so if you buy seasonal produce you are supporting your local farmers.
In season affordability
When produce is in season, it is abundant and therefore costs less at the market. Buy the same produce off season and you pay a very high price.
Farmers markets sell seasonal produce
The markets encourage the formation of communities and the exchange of information.
Seasonal food is mostly fresh and not processed
It encourages home cooking. Cooking more often challenges your creativity to come up with new, fun and delicious dishes based on what you find.
Seasonal food is grown locally and it does not spoil before getting to the supermarkets. The food does not lose its nutrients like imports that take long trips on the ships.
When you eat seasonal foods, you have a very wide variety of foods since each season has its own typical produce. Many people do this by default to a certain extent, e.g. in spring and summer they eat berries and stone-fruits, and then in fall they turn to apples, pumpkins, and squash. This has become a tradition because the foods are in season and therefore plentiful.
You avoid overseas contaminants
Some countries are relaxed when it comes to controlling the use of pesticides and herbicides that are harmful and banned in other countries. By eating imported produce you may be eating a lot of harmful chemicals.
Seasonal produce supports seasonal needs
In winter citrus fruits are in season, and they are just what we need for the prevention of flu and colds. Winter vegetables are suitable for stews. In summer, stone fruits provide extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that protect us against sun damage. Salad vegetables for those tasty cool salads are also in season in summer.
Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions when you buy your produce. If you live in Australia you might be able to find a market near you through this link.