Ever wondered what the big deal is, or why buying seasonal produce is better?
At most times during the year, you’ll find produce that is seasonal in your area. These are fruits and vegetables that grow during certain times of the year only in your area. Paying attention to what is in season is a good idea, for your health and that of your family.
The Farm-To-Table Movement
Farm-to-table has become a common phrase in recent years.
The bonus is that you’ll be supporting local farmers and the farm-to-table movement when you buy produce that is in season. The farm-to-table movement means that you are choosing produce, eggs, milk, and meat from local farms instead of from national supermarket chains. By doing so, you provide a lot of benefits for your family, your health, and your local community.
Why Buy Seasonal Produce
Here is my list of the top reasons I think you should choose to buy seasonal:
Get From Local Area
If it is in season your supplier or grocery store is more likely to be purchasing the produce locally. Buying strawberries in the winter when you know they can’t grow in your area probably means they are being shipped in from overseas.
Buying local helps the local community and economy. Supporting local farmers gives them the critical support they need for survival. You’re also encouraging more environmentally sustainable farming practices.
Best Tasting Fruits & Veggies Available
Buying fruits and vegetables when they are not in season means they took time to be shipped to your location. They will not stay as fresh as long and could go bad quite quickly. This means that they need to be sprayed with chemicals (in addition to the pesticides used by large commercial farmers) to keep them fresh in transit.
These chemicals are not necessary! Buying seasonal food from local farmers means that they don’t need to be treated to keep them fresh. This is better for the environment and us.
Try New Seasonal Recipes
Buying seasonal produce means that there is less variety. However, this challenges you to try new recipes and get creative! This is the perfect opportunity to encourage kids to try new things.
Local farmers are usually happy to give families tours. Once kids have seen where their food is grown, and have helped to prepare the meal, they are more likely to try new foods.
When produce is in season that means there is an abundance and you can get it way less than you normally would pay. Shipping is expensive and that additional cost is passed on to the consumer.
You’re also lowering your carbon footprint by eliminating long-distance shipping. Since the trucks aren’t using a lot of extra fuel to get to different supermarkets, there aren’t excess emissions being released. You can visit the farm yourself to pick up your produce or have it delivered through companies like Munching Mongoose, who don’t have to drive far to get it to you.
By shopping for seasonal produce you’re less likely to get out of area food and it’ll be cheaper. Plus you’ll get much more variety in your diet by trying new recipes. The food will be fresher and you’ll be supporting your community. So whenever possible shop whatever is seasonal and you’ll be happy that you did.
If you’re looking for a seasonal fruit and vegetable chart for South Africa, head over to Crush and check out their comprehensive list.
I hope that you will be encouraged to eat more healthy, local, seasonal foods when you realize the positive impact it has on your health and local community. For your health and that of your family.
For more on my thoughts on choosing organic check out these posts: