There was a time when I’d go to a grocery store and think nothing of buying strawberries in winter or asparagus in late summer. But not today. I’ve learned that eating foods when they are naturally in season is healthier, more economical, and – well, let me explain.
* Eating in season is often healthier. Eating fresh, in season produce food means having food with higher nutritional value, according to some studies. That’s because produce that’s grown in greenhouses out of season seem to have lower levels of nutrients.
In addition, if you buy seasonal produce from local farmers (or grow it yourself), your food won’t be picked early so it can arrive at your grocery store looking fresh. That also means the produce has more nutritional value. Finally, varieties of food generally grown for the grocery store market tend to be less nutritious than food grown locally.
* In season produce tastes better. There is really no point in buying plums and peaches in the winter. They taste awful. On the other hand, fresh in season produce – especially if it’s from a local farmer or your backyard – has excellent flavor.
* In season produce saves money. Fresh, out of season produce is more expensive because it costs more to grow it in unnatural conditions. Fresh, in season produce is more abundant and cheaper to grow – and therefore costs consumers less money to buy.
* In season produce saves energy. Out of season produce is generally shipped to your location with trucks, planes, and ships – all of which consume resources. In season produce, on the other hand, can typically be grown locally, and therefore far fewer resources are used to bring it to your kitchen.
* Eating fresh, in season produce helps you enjoy your food. If you have to wait until summer to enjoy a ripe-from-the-tree, juicy peach, you’re going to appreciate it much more.
* Eating in season encourages variety. Eating seasonally does limit your fresh produce choices – but that often leads to trying foods you might have otherwise ignored. This can balance your diet and improve your health – as well as delight your palate.
* Eating seasonal produce will probably encourage you to buy your food from local farmers – which in turn helps you support your local economy.
What’s In Season in Spring
(Click links below for recipes)
Green onions (scallions)
Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
Navel and Blood Orange
For more seasonal recipes, check out my new cookbook A Vegetable for Every Season.
Gourmet recipes at your finger tips...