In today’s world, where we have access to 24-hour supermarkets that are stocked with food from every corner of the world every single day, it’s easy to forget about how and when things grow. Despite this, there are some significant benefits to eating with the seasons.
Eating seasonally simply means eating foods that are grown at the same time as you eat them. While most fruits and vegetables are being grown somewhere in the world at any given time, eating seasonally specifically refers to eating produce that’s being grown locally right now. The main aim of this is to minimize the time it takes for the fresh produce you buy to get from the ground or the tree to your plate.
Benefits of eating seasonal foods
If you are on the fence as to whether or not you should start eating seasonally, check out some of our top benefits below.
- It saves you money
First and foremost, eating seasonally could keep your wallet heavier.
When fruits and vegetables are out of season in your area, they either have to be grown in managed conditions or transported from the other side of the world.
Both of these processes cost lots of money, and that cost gets passed on to you – the consumer.
When you eat seasonally, local food can be grown in natural conditions and easily transported to the point of sale, making it much more affordable.
- It tastes better
You’d be surprised how far some foods have to travel to ensure they’re on the shelves 365 days a year. Out-of-season fruit and veg can spend days and weeks travelling to get to you, and this comes with a price.
Either they’re picked earlier than they should be so that they’re ready on arrival, or they spoil a little on the way. Whichever happens – flavour and freshness are compromised on-route.
Seasonal produce comes such a short distance that it doesn’t spoil on the way to you. It’s harvested at the very best time, so taste is maximised.
- It’s healthier
For the same reason, seasonal fruit and veg taste better, it’s also healthier.
It’s no surprise that being locked in cargo holds and shipping containers for days to reach us, does nothing for the nutritional content of the food. In fact, in many cases it’s detrimental.
As a rule of thumb, the fresher the better, and you can’t get much fresher than eating seasonally-grown local produce.
- It supports your local community
When you buy foods out of season, the profits are swallowed up by the grower, the transporter and the retailer – and it’s a safe bet that none of these are based in your local area.
Growers in your region don’t down tools out of season; they’ll be churning out fruit and veg all year round. By buying what they produce, you’ll constantly be feeding the profits back into your own community.
- It’s kinder to the planet
Be it by plane, train or automobile – when food has to come a long way to get to you, it comes with a carbon footprint.
Of course, every apple you buy has had a journey to get to the store. It’s a safe bet that the apple that’s come from a farm 50 miles away as it’s in season here, compared with one that’s had to come from South Africa, has had a more environmentally friendly and sustainable trip.
- It’s exciting!
When you make a concerted effort to eat seasonally, you’ll find yourself introduced to foods and dishes that you may not have considered before. Even trying out new recipes to add variety to your meals.
It’s often said that “limitation is the key to creativity”, who knows what meals you might end up rustling up. As the seasons change, you’ll get plenty of variety in your diet too.