Eating With The Seasons
With the year-round availability of nearly any food our hearts can imagine, eating seasonally has become a thing of the past. But unfortunately, the convenience of one-stop shopping has moved us from how we originally were designed to eat. Most of us don’t pick fruit off a tree or vegetables from a vine. Instead, we are shopping year-round.
Produce from a pile of fruits and vegetables line the refrigerated section of our stores. Yet, eating this way, while convenient, affects the body, our wallets, and the environment! So what exactly are the benefits of shifting toward more seasonal eating?
It tastes better
Most out-of-season crops travel long distances, are harvested early, refrigerated, artificially ripened, and left in bins at the grocery store for days, sometimes weeks. The processes of heating and cooling change the flavor and nutrient content of the produce. Local farmer’s markets or foods from your garden taste better because they are fresher, and their handling affects tastes.
The better the taste, then we are likely to eat more. Luscious fruits and veggies equate to enjoying eating the foods of the season. It’s a win, win.
It is easy on the pockets.
Peak season produce is cheaper for the farmers to grow, store, and deliver and leads to lower costs for the consumer.
It supports your body’s seasonal needs.
Produce in peak season is closely aligned with our bodies’ nutritional needs. For example, we need hydration and cooler foods in the summertime, such as berries and cucumbers. Fall includes an assortment of root vegetables and crisp fruits. Perfect for creating meals that bring comfort and joy as the weather begins to cool. Winter offers a variety of citrus fruits packed with Vitamin C to boost immune function and equip us against getting sick.
In the Spring, leafy greens are abundant. They aid with detoxification from eating heavier foods during the winter. Our bodies are mindful of their needs, but it is our responsibility to answer those needs. Eating with the seasons does just that.
In Missouri, different fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year, and interpreting between produce in season and products that may have traveled thousands of miles is easier than you may think.
Here are some tips to see what’s in season:
-Look for produce that is on sale
-Shop at the local farmer’s markets
-Speak to the farmers
-Join a CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture)
-Find restaurants that serve seasonal foods
-Check to see if produce price tags or stickers indicate the region
Seasonal eating is a viable way of changing your diet that has health advantages. This lifestyle encourages you to only eat fruits and veggies in season for your geographic area, like pears in the fall, oranges in the winter, asparagus in the Spring, tomatoes in the summer.
To find what is in season in your state, check out this seasonal food guide. https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org.
Eating with the seasons also allows you to experiment with different kinds of foods. Try something you have never eaten before. You may be surprised. For other tips and free downloads about health and wellness, check out my website: https://www.love4lifewellness.com.