As the weather changes across the globe so does the fresh produce that is available. Seasonal foods are produce that are purchased and consumed around the time that they are harvested. Each season offers an array of beautiful fresh produce. For example, purchasing durians in season in Malaysia means buying them around June to August when it is in peak supply and the fruit is at its freshest. However, in a world of 24-hour supermarkets, where the shelves are stocked with produce from every corner of the world every single day, it can be easy to forget how and when things grow. After all, our favourite fruits and vegetables always seem to be there and ready for us to pop in the trolley.
Here are some of the best reasons to eat by the seasons and some pretty sweet benefits that come along with it.
1. Save your money
First and foremost, eating seasonally could keep your wallet heavier. When fruits and vegetables are out of season, 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 the consumer. But when fruits and veggies are in season, the farmers will most likely have an abundance of the crop and prices will go down. Thus, when you purchase fresh produce in season you can save money.
2. Tastes better
In season fruits and vegetables are fresher and taste better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, it will have much more flavor and nutrition.
3. Better for health
Produce that is purchased in season is more likely to be fresher, consumed closer to harvesting and higher in nutritional value, some antioxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes will rapidly decline when stored for periods of time. In a study monitoring the vitamin C content of broccoli, it was found that broccoli grown during its peak season (fall) had a higher vitamin C content than broccoli grown during the spring. Therefore, as a rule of thumb; the fresher the better.
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. Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports more local produce and local farming, this means less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses, and less irradiation of produce.
How To Eat Seasonally
Check the list below for what foods are in season corresponding with the current month. Aim to buy more of these produce below when shopping at your nearest supermarkets.
March – May
- Purple Sprouting Broccoli
- Spring Onion
June – August
- Black Currants
- Lettuce & Salad Leaves
September – November
December – February
- Bay Leaves
- Brussels Sprouts
- Red Cabbage
Info adapted from:
- Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath; 6 Great Benefits of Eating What’s in Season.
- Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN, 2021; Eating Seasonally for Better Nutrition and a Better World
- Abby Quillen,2016; Eating Season by Season.
- Julie M. Goolsby, M.A. 4 Reasons to Eat By The Seasons + What Is In Season Right Now.