WHAT'S IN SEASON
One of the most confusing things for me when produce shopping, is knowing what is actually in season. With everything being grown year round in hot houses or shipped from another country verses organic farms, I never know if I'm getting good, fresh produce.
Here are some reasons why you should eat what is in season:
When produce is in season, it will be more abundant and available making it less expensive. You will also be helping provide financial support to the farmers in your area, which helps to grow your local economy and keep the organic way of farming an option for you and your family. At the rate we are going, we may soon not have a choice to eat organic.
When crops are shipped long distances, they must be picked before they are ripe and are then sprayed with ethylene gas when they reach their destination. The ethylene gas forces the produce to ripen, unnaturally. When the produce does not ripen in its natural environment, it doesn't develop its full flavor. Freshly picked produce will have optimal flavor.
Plants get their nourishment through the sun and the soil. According to Brian Halweil, author of “Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket,” “If you harvest something early so that it can endure a long distance shipping experience, it’s not going to have the full complement of nutrients it might have had.” Help support your body's natural cleansing and healing abilities by providing them with the wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that you need to maintain vibrant health.
Eating seasonally will challenge you to be creative and come up with new fun dishes based on what you find. Variety is also beneficial for our bodies. You are less likely to develop food intolerance if you change your menu according to what is available.