3 Reasons to Eat What's in Season
Updated: May 21, 2021
Did you know that the average supermarket apple is over a year old?!
Yes, apples are in season right now, but didn't you also see them at the store 6 months ago when they weren't in season?
The seasons are shifting!
We're moving from cold brew to pumpkin spiced lattes, from bathing suits to sweaters, and from beaches to pumpkin patches.
Everything else is changing, but what about what's on our plates?
We live in a world where we can basically get any food at any time of year (ie. apples). It's easy to forget that certain produce only grows in different regions during certain seasons.
I honestly didn't realize it either until a few years ago when I signed up for a CSA program in NYC called Local Roots. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is when people in a community come together and get their produce directly from a farm. The produce is picked-up weekly at a hotspot location in the community. The subscription I sign up for is a weekly 5 veggie bundle. Every week I get new "in season" foods. In the fall I get produce like squash, beets, and carrots and in the spring I picked up asparagus, spinach, and ramps!
Joining a CSA is not only a great way to support local farms and connect with my community, but it also meant for the first time in my life I was truly eating seasonally. Eating by the seasons helps much more than the local farms, it's also great for your health, your wallet and your tastebuds!
3 Reasons to Eat What's in Season:
Taste - Produce that's in season always tastes better. You know how we rave about the tomatoes picked fresh from the garden in the summer? Those tomatoes taste so much sweeter and juicer, why? Because they're in season! Try a tomato from the grocery store in January, it just doesn't taste the same! The supermarket produce providers just aim to deliver the amount of produce to meet the customer demand for it. So quantity always overrides taste. Produce picked in season is typically way more flavorful and fresh tasting!
Nutrients - Produce that is grown and eaten in its peak season is more nutrient-dense. Fruits and veggies grown out of season don't follow their natural growing and ripening stages. Since we live in a world where we expect our favorite fruits and vegetables to be available year-round, ripening agents are added to the food (chemicals, gases, and heat processes) to make sure the supply can keep up with demand. Buying from a CSA or farmer's market also ensures that the produce was picked fairly recently. It can take several weeks for the produce to get to your supermarket. Since produce is shipped in from around the world, by the time it gets to your plate, the nutrients could be depleted by 50%! Did you know that the average supermarket apple is over a year old?! A great option to avoid this is to buy the fruits and veggies you love year-round in the frozen section. Frozen foods are typically picked at peak season and flash frozen-so all of the nutrients are preserved for when you're ready to eat them!
Price - When buy produce that's in season it's typically available at a much lower price. You know the whole supply and demand deal. Did you ever notice that in the summer AKA berry season, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are so much cheaper, and in the winter you pay so much more for the same pint of berries? That's the seasonal-effect! You can save yourself a couple of bucks just by shopping for what's in season!
If you're looking to get the best bang for your buck, taste buds, and health in terms of fruits and veggies, shop the season! I share my favorite produce picks every month in my newsletter + you can always check out the USDA Seasonal Produce Guide!
Buying fresher, tastier, cheaper, and more nutrient-dense produce will make earning your daily plant points even more exciting! Remember, don't take away foods from your plate, just add in more plants and your body will thank you!