The turn of each season brings a bounty of food with it. For many, the joys of eating seasonally are wrapped up in nostalgic memories.
Memories of eating handfuls of blueberries straight from the bush in summer; tasting the ripe apples of early fall; and crunching through a field to find the perfect pumpkin all come to mind.
In the winter, people look forward to eating hardy root vegetables, like carrots and parsnips, and filling soups and stews during the winter. In spring, tasting the first bright strawberries, flavours dancing across your tongue, is an exciting moment to anticipate every year.
Each season has its own unique flavour to enjoy and savour. There are so many delicious reasons why you should eat real, seasonal food.
4 Reasons to Eat Seasonal, Farmers Market Produce
1. Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables Are Full of Nutrients
Local, seasonal, organic food sold in the vicinity doesn’t have to travel far. This means it’s picked closer to peak ripeness than produce that is shipped in from far-away places. More time on the plant means more time to absorb nutrients from the sun and soil.
Nutrient-loss is much lower, too. Seasonal fruits and veggies retain their vitamins and minerals because soon after they’re picked, it isn’t long before they’re used. Industrial-grown produce, on the other hand, is picked far before it’s ripe and sits in wait on trucks, in warehouses, and on shelves before it’s actually bought for eating. During this long period, it loses a lot of those precious nutrients.
2. Eating Seasonally Saves Your Wallet
Eating apples in the spring, fresh lettuce or berries in winter, or pumpkins in the summer requires quite a bit of work. This is because it’s more difficult to grow produce out of season. It requires warm climates, expensive greenhouses, or simulation of the right conditions.
Have you ever noticed how much more expensive strawberries are in the winter? That’s because winter is not their natural growing season. It takes far more work and expense for farmers to grow strawberries in winter rather than spring.
Food that is easier to grow is produced in its natural season. Food that is grown in season is cheaper to produce, and therefore cheaper for you to buy.
3. Seasonal Produce Has a Surprising Amount of Variety
As organic gardening can attest, the amount of food you can grow seasonally is amazing. There are endless varieties of produce native to each season, some you may never have heard of.
For instance, here’s a list of fruits and veggies that are at their best when picked in early fall in many climates: Beets, Belgian endive, cauliflower, grapes, Jerusalem sunchokes, okra, radicchio, quinces, rutabagas, and kohlrabi.
Depending on the climate and region, here are some produce varieties best picked in winter: Oranges, persimmons, satsumas, Treviso, winter squash, and turnips.
Best of all, dishes made based on the availability of seasonal produce will have the distinct flavour of that time of year.
4. Real Food Grown Seasonally Is Packed with Flavour
Local and organic farming operations grow food for local consumers. Here again, the peak ripeness factor comes into play. Food grown in season, in the conditions it naturally loves (such as the cooler temperatures of early fall, or the sticky humidity of mid-summer), has the most outstanding flavour.
You can’t beat spring strawberries, or summer sweet corn. You can’t top autumn squashes or late-summer peaches. Every fruit or vegetable has a growing season in which it thrives best. When you nurture that natural cycle, something magical happens – the flavour takes off.
Local and Organic Food is Better In-Season
You’ll be hard-pressed to find better produce than the real food that’s grown and picked in-season. It tastes better, has more nutrients, is less expensive, and is loaded with flavour. The variety of each season sparks the imagination while celebrating the unique natural bounty available at each time of year.
For farmer’s market food that pays homage to seasonal cycles, look no further than the convenience of food delivery with Ooooby.