We all know that eating fruits and vegetables are the staple of a healthy diet. Vegetables however, can feel very uninspiring if you just stick to the same old produce. Do carrots and broccoli feature on your plate on a daily basis, no matter what the time of year? Well, you’re missing out on a whole range of amazingly tasty fruits and veg!
What does “eating seasonally” mean?
To eat seasonally simply means to eat produce around the time it has been harvested. For example; eating nectarines in the summer time or squashes in the autumn. Local Farmers markets are the perfect places to visit when eating seasonally, you can physically see the change in produce as the seasons pass throughout the year.
It means more flavour
Eating vegetables whilst they’re in season means that they will be fresher. They won’t have spent days being across countries and ending up in a supermarket. The flavour is also incomparable. Have you ever tried eating strawberries or tomatoes in the middle of the winter? The miles that they have travelled to reach your plate mean that it will have an impact on flavour – there is nothing like a British strawberry when the summertime rolls around or tomatoes, that have been ripened perfectly by the sun.
It’s better for you
Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when they’re ripe and fully developed. The plant has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants.
It’s easier on your budget
Eating vegetables whilst they are in abundance makes them means they will be much cheaper. Buying food at the peak of its supply is cheaper for farmers and for distribution, making it cost less for you.
It’s better for the environment
Seasonal produce can grow without too much added assistance i.e. pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives. Seasonal food is more likely to be locally produced, which reduces the load on our environment due to transport, or “food mileage”.
It helps your local community
Local food supports the local economy. The money you spend on products from local farmers and growers stays in the community and is reinvested with other local businesses. In addition, food grown locally, processed locally and distributed locally (for example, to local restaurants) generates jobs and helps to stimulate local economies.
Local growers will happily tell you how the food was grown. When you buy directly from farmers, you have the opportunity to ask what practices they use to produce and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, it makes you think twice about the food you buy in the supermarket.
What food is in season now?
As previously mentioned, buying produce from local farms or markets is the easiest way to shop seasonally and save money. To keep track of what food is coming into season, check out these helpful links;