Six Reasons Why We Should Eat Seasonal Produce
As the weather starts to change so does our produce. It’s recommended to eat with the seasons, but what are the advantages of cooking with whole foods that coincide with the time of year?
1. They Taste Better!
When fruit and vegetables are ripened on the tree as opposed to being picked early and stored in a cool store, they are not only fresher and taste better but they are higher in nutritional value. Chilling the fruit not only reduces its nutrient value, it also changes the fruit’s texture and taste.
2. It Supports Local Farmers and Small Businesses
When we purchase fruit locally we support the farmers and small businesses in our community and our money goes back into the community. When we purchase from overseas our money is supporting not only international farmers but also freight companies and supermarkets.
3. It’s Cheaper
Fruit and vegetables bought locally and seasonally are cheaper, this is because you are not paying for storage or transportation costs. Your money is going direct to the farmer and cuts out the middleman.
Seasonally bought produce is always in abundance as crops are full and it’s the perfect time for fruit and vegetables to grow. The produce is tree/vine ripened and at its best.
5. Unknown Use of Contaminants
Farming practices vary worldwide. Certain countries have a more relaxed approach when using sprays and therefore, the integrity of the fruit and vegetables may be compromised. It is often not known what pesticides, herbicides and fungicides have been used to grow the food.
6. Food as Medicine
Food is grown at certain times of the year to provide for our bodies. For example oranges and mandarins which are high in vitamin C grow in winter to support our immune systems against colds and flu’s. Mushrooms start to grow at the first sign of wet weather. They are high in vitamin D and are beneficial when we are deficient of summer sun.
These are just a few reasons to buy in season. So check out some of your local farmers’ markets for delicious nutrient packed produce that won’t cost you an arm or a leg!
Rachel is a qualified Naturopath and a Holistic Chef. She began her professional career working as a chef at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne. After twelve years of working in that profession, she commenced her studies into naturopathy and nutrition. It was during this time that she discovered her passion for “food as medicine”.