There is nothing like going to the local farmer's market and picking up a picture perfect pint of sweet, freshly picked, ruby red strawberries. But when that's not available don't fret. There is always something delicious and nutritious in season and readily available, no matter where you live or the time of year. So break your habits and open your mind to variety. Eating what's in season can be a eye-opening experience that can satisfy the senses and bring explosions of new flavors and textures into your life. Along with the sensual enjoyment here are 5 other reasons you should eat seasonally:
1) Better for the Environment
Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables does wonders for saving the environment. It may not seem like an obvious way of helping our planet lower carbon emissions and energy, but it can make a huge difference on reducing your carbon footprint. Eating local and seasonal means less gas used on transportation and less energy used to store and preserve the food.
2) Better for Your Bank Account
Give your bank account a little break. Not only are you doing something to help the planet, you are also helping yourself save money. Local and seasonal food is always cheaper than food that is grown in hothouses and needs to travel hundreds of miles to get to your grocery stand. The difference in price for in-season and out-of-season fruits and vegetables can be pretty dramatic. Usually the price is about double for items that are not currently being harvested.
3) Better for the Local Industry
Support the local farmers and the local industry. Often small and local farmers have trouble competing with big industry companies, even though the quality of their products is much better. Small and local is becoming much more popular, but the support of the consumer is needed to keep this movement afloat. So do your part and support sustainability within your community
4) Better for you
Seasonal items are not only a lot more delicious but they are also nutrient packed. They are fresher and contain more essential vitamins, minerals antioxidants and fiber that will help maintain a healthier you. Compared to items that are grown in unnatural conditions or travel miles to get to your grocery store, in-season foods are always at their nutritional peak.
5) Better for Entertaining
Don't bore your guests with boring cliches and year-round appetizers. There are times when spinach dip or salsa just get old. Instead opt for colors and flavors that compliment the various seasonal occasions. Your guests will love it and you'll be a hit long after the season's passed.
So when you walk into the local market or grocery store have a goal, a plan and a list of what's fresh and ready. Eat what's in season. Eat what's local. And whenever possible, eat organic. Instead of picking up that barely-orange hothouse tomato, be creative. When done right, the results can be pretty tasty.
For more information what's in season in your area check out Eat the Seasons
image via LA Times