We all hear that buying produce that is in season is better for you. What, if any, benefits are there to buying produce that is in season?
Each season offers it’s own variety of fruit and vegetables, some being dependent on the local climate. Shopping for your fruit and vegetables at the local farmers market is a great choice. By buying locally you are supporting the community, the produce is at it’s peak in terms of nutrients and flavour and in season.
Listed below are a few of the best reasons for buying what is in season. Some may resonate with you others are better for you and your family, others better for the planet. It just makes better sense for all to look around your local community to see what is available and to keep it local. You never know you just may meet some great new friends.
- Tastes Better – Seasonal produce tastes better, it is fresher as it has been recently harvested and generally allowed to ripen naturally.
- Cheaper – When purchasing local seasonal produce storage and cartage expenses are not incorporated into the final cost. When there is an abundance of produce being harvested due to it being in season the cost the consumer will be greatly reduced.
- Fresher with a Higher Nutrient Value – Conventionally grown produce is often treated to prevent over ripening and to lengthen shelf life. Some produce is often stored for weeks in warehouses and shipped long distances. Many vitamins and nutrients start to decline after harvest and with storage over long periods of time.
- Nutrient Dense for the Season – Mother Nature is amazing, she provides us with what we need with each season, there is citrus in the winter, which are high in vitamin C. This is just what we need to help prevent colds and flu. All those winter root vegetables to comfort us and warm us; there is nothing so wonderful as a warming stew, soup or a roast on a cold and bleak winter day. Summer gives us fruit rich in beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect against sun damage. Summer and spring fruit and vegetables are often higher than at other times of the year. This provides us with the energy we need for all our summer activity and prepares us for the cooler months ahead.
- Smaller Carbon Footprint – Purchasing in season produce reduces the need for storage, refrigeration, transport and irradiation. All of this is better for the environment and for the health of you and your family. Buying locally when possible also keeps money within the community supporting the farmers and your local area.