Why eat seasonally?

Tips to follow the seasons when it comes to fruit and vegetables

Photo credit Brigitte Tohm

Photo credit Farsai C.

Photo credit Anurag Arora

Cover photo credit: Sonja Langford


1. It is easier on your wallet:

When the produce is in season locally, the relative abundance of the crop makes it less expensive – and you will get better value for money because the quality will be higher.  Just think of the basil in the grocery store during winter. During the summer, not only will your basil be cheaper, but the bunch will also be bigger, brighter, and beautifully aromatic.   

2. They will taste better:

Throughout the year, any produce that is not in season locally will be sourced and shipped from the other parts of the world, or grown in a hothouse.  These crops have to be harvested early and refrigerated, so they do not rot during transportation. In certain cases, they will not ripen effectively and therefore do not develop a rich flavour. You do not need to be a professional chef to tell the difference between a vine-ripened dark red tomato, still warm from the summer sun, and the pale red, hothouse tomatoes you eat during the winter.  They lack colour, lack flavour, and are somewhat mealy.

 

3. It is better for you:

Produce that is grown for transportation undergoes a different treatments in order to kill germs. Additionally, preservatives such as wax are added to protect the produce.  There are no current studies conducted that quantifies the impact of these treatments, so eating local fresh produce is truly a safer and healthier option.

 

4. You will get variety all year long:

There are so many wonderful fruits and vegetables available, and eating by the seasons, rather than simply sticking to the same old recipes, will bring you lots of variety.  To give you an idea, here is a quick list of some of what is in season during:

· Summer: apricots, pumpkin, eggplant, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers…

· Autumn: pears, garlic, figs, grapes, apples…

· Winter: mandarins, kale, citrus, turnips, radish, cale…

· Spring: cherries, strawberries, broad beans, lettuce, spinach…

 

5. Make use of your backyard:

Due to limited growing seasons in most regions, it is very difficult to eat locally and in season throughout the year.  What do you do in this scenario?  Try to grow it yourself!  You will learn what goes into growing vegetables and can enjoy the fresh taste and flavor when they are harvested.