Blog by-CHLOE FOLENA
You may or may not have heard the phrase “seasonal eating” being used in the nutrition community . If you do know what eating seasonally means and all the positives that are tied to it, kudos to you. If not, that is A-okay because you’re in the right place. This is going to be a short overview of why choosing to incorporate produce grown in-season is beneficial and how you can start doing it.
Let’s talk first about why seasonal eating is an important concept to be aware of and the benefits that come from it.
- When you eat produce that’s grown seasonally in or around your area, you’re getting food that is FRESHER (think farm to table). There’s no shipping across the country or world, so you’re getting your food faster and cutting out the time that it sits on transportation (and gets old and icky) to get to your supermarkets. So not only is it fresher, but it’s taking up less harmful resources to get to you, meaning its better for the environment. AND the fresher your food is, the more nutrients stay stored within it, which is better for your body.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that the less distance it takes your produce to travel, the more you know about the product, i.e. pesticides or chemicals used, farm conditions, ect. That also means you have a better understanding of where your food is coming from, something a lot of people nowadays don’t ever even think about.
- Seasonal produce also tends to be LESS EXPENSIVE, which is amazing because a lot of healthy options and alternatives to cheap fast food tend to get a little bit pricey. Keeping produce locally and seasonally sourced keeps the prices down, your wallet happy, and your body getting all the good nutrients it needs.
Now that we’ve gone over just a few of the reasons you should try seasonal eating, let’s get into HOW you go about doing that. What produce is even “in season” anyways? Well, here are some of the fruits and veggies that are well sourced in the US each season:
~Summer– Arugula, asparagus, bell pepper, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, radishes, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, lemons, limes, melons, mulberries, nectarines, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, plums, strawberries
~Fall– Artichoke, beets, bell pepper, broccolini, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery root, chard, corn, eggplant, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, almonds, apples, chestnuts, cranberries, pears, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, tamarillo, tangerines
~Winter– Beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, citrus, kiwi, pomegranate
~Spring– Artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, fava beans, fennel, kale, peas, leeks, radishes, rhubarb, turnips, avocado, blood oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple
If you want a more specific guide to what’s seasonal in your area, there’s a great website (https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/california) where you can search for produce by state and specific time of year. Super cool!
Something to keep in mind is that farmers markets and local collectives that sell farm fresh produce will always have locally grown, in-season products. A fun activity to do with friends or fam is to visit your local farmers market to get some seasonal produce you might not have considered before and then make a great, healthy meal!