Eating foods that are in season can save you money. But there can it improve your health too? Many nutrition experts believe so.
Benefits of Seasonal EatingThere are several benefits to eating seasonally. The top benefits include:
Eating seasonally ensures your food is as fresh as possible.
- Your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
- Produce, meats, eggs and nuts eaten while they are plentiful, do not
need to be stored.
- Reduces potential exposure to chemicals applied to produce prepared for shipping.
- Food is often of greater nutritive value.
- Your food dollar is stretched further.
- Environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles is reduced.
- Buying seasonal produce also provides an exciting opportunity to try new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes.
- Seasonal food simply tastes better!
Produce is at its peak nutritional value when it is ripe. However when you purchase produce that is not in season in the area where you live it is shipped before it is ripe so that it won't spoil. Since such produce is picked before ripeness, it might gain color and softness on its journey to the supermarket, however it will not be as nutritious. This is because nutritional value comes through the stem from the living plant. Once harvested, a vegetable is as nutritious as its going to get. Nutritional value actually decreases every day past harvest. To make matters even worse, produce shipped long distances re often sprayed with chemicals to control pest infestation, as well as to delay ripening.
The type of produce that is in season depends on
where you live. Fruits that are in season in California and Florida for
instance in December, would not be in season in the northern states,
which would be in the middle of winter. So for your health's sake, buy locally. Eat produce that was intended to be grown in the area where you live, and buy it at its peak of ripeness, rather than produce that was picked unripe and shipped thousands of miles.
Red meats are
more plentiful in the fall and winter when animals
fatten themselves for the winter.
Poultry tend to be more plentiful in the summer months (June - August).
Hens lay more eggs in the spring (March-May).
Nuts typically ripen in the fall (e.g., September/October). They can be enjoyed in the fall and winter.
How to Find What Foods are in Season in your Area
To find the produce that is currently ripening in your area use the Seasonal Food Finder.