A Guide To Eating Seasonally
How often do you grocery shop for what's in season? For us, it's regular. We crave (and love!) the crisp refreshment of watermelon in the summer and the earthy taste of pumpkin in the fall. And it turns out that when we eat what's in season, it's beneficial for our bodies and the planet, too. We develop a more balanced diet and curb our cravings while reducing food production's impact on the environment.
We can't tell you exactly what to shop for at your farmer's market this summer (or fall, spring, or winter) since what's able to grow depends on your geographic location. But we can share the perks of shopping seasonally, what to look for when at your local market, and how to enjoy your produce fully.
Let’s dive in!
4 Reasons To Eat With The Seasons
It's Healthier For You
When produce is harvested and grown when the seasons are suitable for it, it is at its most nutritionally dense. For example, one study showed that the vitamin C value of broccoli harvested locally in the fall was "almost twice as high" as the value of broccoli harvested in the spring.
It Can Save You Money
Think back to your Economics 101 class. Remember supply and demand? The same applies to our food! If we want to eat strawberries in the dead of winter (when supply is low), we'll likely pay more for them. Off-season availability requires more attention to transporting, supply chains, etc., ultimately raising the price.
On the other hand, fruits and veggies that are in season are harvested in larger quantities, which makes the price lower. And when harvested locally, they won't incur additional expenses like storing and shipping. That said, we can stretch our dollars when we buy what the earth has made abundantly available.
It Supports Local Farmers
Eating seasonally allows us to support our local farmers, economies, and land. We can meet the farmer at our local farmer's markets and buy from them directly, cutting out the middle-man and reducing the need for polluting food production methods (more on this below).
If you don't have a farmer's market near you, consider joining a CSA (community-supported agriculture program) or subscribing to an organic home-delivery box.
It's Better For The Earth
As mentioned before, eating locally and seasonally positively impacts the planet. How? Well, food production is responsible for up to a third of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Most emissions come from farming methods like fertilizers, farm machinery, transportation, etc.
When we eat local, organic produce, we reduce polluting factors such as packaging and transportation derived from fossil fuels, pesticides and fertilizers which are harmful to the air we breathe.
What To Look For At The Market
To get started here's an easy guide on what typically grows during each season and what to look for at your local market! Again, this depends on where you're located.
- Spring - asparagus, swiss chard, leeks, artichoke, green onion, carrot, parsnip, radish, peas
- Summer - cucumber, berries, eggplant, corn, grapes, garlic, melons, zucchini, stone fruits, green beans, tomatoes
- Fall - brussel sprouts, apples, dates, squash, pear, sweet potato, pumpkin
- Winter - cauliflower, broccoli, celery, citrus fruits, leafy greens, root vegetables
Once you've got your delicious produce, you may want to begin cooking! We've got a few delicious recipes to choose from:
- Teriyaki Sweet Potato Noodles
- Raspberry Apple Peel Jam
- Coconut Cilantro Plantain Rice Risotto
Eating with the seasons isn't about uprooting your diet—pun intended. It's about honoring what is naturally abundant so that what and how we consume becomes more nutritious, creative, and symbiotic.
We hope you’re able to get out this season and explore what produce your community has to offer!