With such easy access to all sorts of imported fresh produce, have you ever considered eating seasonally? Here are the top reasons you need to start eating your fruits and vegetables according to the seasons.
Save on cost!
When you purchase produce that is in season locally, there will be a much greater supply of the crop available. This will push prices down, making it a much cheaper option when doing the weekly grocery shop.
Better taste and flavour
Imported produce doesn’t just arrive at your supermarket overnight. They go through a process from being harvested early, refrigerated and transported from the other side of the world – all of which ruins the freshness and flavour of the crop. Even when they do arrive at our doorstep, the crops won’t ripen as effectively since they are not in their natural environment. Why wouldn’t you want to opt for fresher tasting, seasonal produce instead?
Better nutritional value to support your body's natural needs
Seasonal produce adds more balance and nutritional value to our diet. Local crops receive the adequate soil and sun exposure they need and are then harvested when they’re fully grown and ripe. This means the produce have greater levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which are all vital to support a well-rounded diet.
By eating according to the seasons, you get a wider variety in your diet all year long! This helps keep your palette fresh due to the variety of taste and flavour. Why not try sourcing some local fresh produce that you have never tried before?
Supports the environment
Not only is seasonal produce better for our health and our wallet, but also for our environment. When produce is produced locally, they require less transportation, less refrigeration and less chemicals – all of which help promote a better-balanced ecosystem. In addition, seasonal crops are able to grow without extra handling, human assistance, pesticides, preservatives and genetic modification. Meaning it is better for your health, and is friendlier to the water and soil they are harvested in.
Avoid risk of overseas contaminants
One of the key reasons you should eat seasonally, is to reduce exposure to overseas contaminants. Recently, there have been outbreaks of diseases that are related to contaminated overseas produce. The list of examples is an endless one, just simply google them! This is largely due to the differences in regulation regarding the environment and the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides for crops. Especially in economies with weaker legal infrastructures, regulations and chemical bans are less likely to occur. Furthermore, produce grown in more developing countries are subject to heavy concentrations of bacteria and harmful substances due to poor hygiene and water sanitation.
Support your local farmers
Seasonal eating supports the local economy and your local farmers! It is much cheaper to produce according to the seasons, which then translates into lower prices for consumers. Seasonal menus stimulate the natural cycle of food production and strengthens local food connections – both which are vital in helping our local farmers compete against imported produce!
- Make visits to your local farmer's markets a regular one
- Purchase fresh produce, and add more home-cooking to your diet
- Try some new produce that you haven't had before
- How to tell what's in season? Check out these links to view your local seasonal food guide: Australia, USA or United Kingdom.
Below is Seasonal Food Guide's list of what fruits and veggies are available season to season for Australia: