What is Seasonal Eating and Why Should You Care?
You may have heard the advice that it’s best to eat seasonally. Here’s a brief explanation of what that means and why it’s beneficial.
Seasonal eating simply means buying and eating produce that is being harvested at the same time of year that you eat it. When you buy and prepare food that’s at the peak of its supply, that’s seasonal eating. The opposite of seasonal eating means buying and eating produce that’s been trucked or flown in from another region where it is in season.
Here are a few reasons for eating seasonally.
First, seasonal produce is almost always cheaper. The law of supply and demand insures that when there’s plenty of fresh corn or grapes on the market, the prices will go down.
Buying seasonally also generally means buying locally, which supports local growers. It also reduces the amount of energy spent trucking or flying produce from one time zone to another. So it’s healthier for the environment.
Better taste is third argument in favor of eating the produce that’s in season in your area. If it’s seasonal and local, it’s likely fresher. My mother-in-law always bought brown eggs. When I asked her why, she explained, “Brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresher.”
When you buy produce that isn’t in season in your local area, it might have been picked before it was fully ripened so it could survive the extra time needed to ship it to another region. It also might have been sprayed with chemicals to extend its shelf life.
If you buy foods out of season that have been transported long distances, they may not be at the peak of flavor. So you may assume that you don’t like asparagus and avoid eating it, for example, because you’ve never eaten truly fresh asparagus.
There’s also the pleasure of eating the first strawberries of the season or of seeing navel oranges back in stock at your local produce market. If these things are available all year long, you miss out on the reunion with your favorite fruits and vegetables.
If you live in North America or the UK, the Eat the Seasons website will tell you what’s in season month by month. For those living in other regions, do a search for “seasonal eating your-country-name”.
Seasonal eating can help you increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet in the best way. It’s a good strategy to match with the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon when seeking to improve your health. It’s a simple change that can make a big difference.
Author: Rebeca Espinoza