Learn How to Eat Seasonally: A Super Easy Step-by-Step GuideApr 22, 2021
Join us as we go over the benefits of eating seasonally and why you should choose seasonal produce.
We’ll also show you how to eat seasonally with our fruit and vegetable season chart and accompanying storage tips, nutrition information, and recipe ideas!
What does it mean to eat seasonal produce?
It means choosing food that is naturally ripe and ready to eat in a particular season local to the consumer. When the weather changes, so do the fruits and vegetables that grow. In other words, eating seasonally means eating produce soon after it has been harvested.
Isn’t that restrictive?
Not necessarily. Did you know that there are over 300,000 edible plant species?
We actually only eat a mere 200 of these, which still seems quite a lot considering that our grocery store shelves always stock the same popular selection of fruit and vegetables all year round. So we’ll forgive you for thinking that limiting yourself to eating seasonal produce is restrictive.
The truth is, there are plenty of incredibly nutritious fruits and vegetables available to eat each season and you may be surprised to discover just how many options you have.
You need not miss out! Keep reading for our top tips on how to eat seasonally and where to find this fresh local produce.
Why eat seasonally?
There are oh so many reasons why we should all endeavor to eat seasonally, but here are our top 5:
1. Saves money
Seasonal produce is grown in natural conditions and does not need to be shipped or transported from other countries. Therefore, it is usually cheaper and, as demand for local fruits and vegetables increases, prices will continue to become more affordable.
2. More delicious
To keep out-of-season produce fresh for longer, they are usually picked far earlier than they should be. The lengthy travel time can also increase spoilage, which is why locally-grown fruits and vegetables often taste much better!
3. More nutritious
In most cases, the fresher the produce the better. In the same way that the taste is affected by the early harvest of out-of-season food, the nutritional content is also degraded. Moreover, spoilage can decrease the health benefits of the fruit and veg.
4. Supports local
Help your local growers by buying what they produce and the profits will cycle back into your community. This will generate employment opportunities, have a positive impact on the environment, and nurture originality and individuality.
5. Saves the planet
Many overseas farmers do not have to grow produce to the same standards as local growers, which can mean more harmful pesticides and degraded soil quality. Buying seasonal produce means fewer artificial conditions and less fuel usage, food irradiation, refrigeration, and overseas transport.
How to eat seasonally
It’s easier than you think to incorporate local and sustainable produce into your diet. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to eat seasonally:
Step 1. Use our seasonal produce calendar
Start by using a fruit & vegetable season chart like the one below to look at the produce by season.
This will tell you which fruits and vegetables are available to eat fresh in the US.
Step 2. Shop at local farmers markets or independent stores/greengrocers
It can be challenging to find local and seasonal produce at big grocery store chains, which is why we recommend choosing a farmers market or independent greengrocers where possible. Not only will this support more local businesses but it will also make it easier to find in-season fruit and vegetables.
Step 3. Check the labels
How do you know if something is actually grown locally? By checking the labels of course!
If there’s no packaging/labels then check with the seller. If it’s grown locally and it’s showing as in season on our chart then you can make a safe bet that it’s seasonally grown.
Step 4. Learn how to make the most of the produce
Revisit our calendar below and then click on the fruits and vegetables you want to cook with to reveal awesome nutritional information, storage advice, and recipe ideas!
Seasonal Produce Calendar (US)
We’ve created a chart to help you work out which fruits and vegetables are in season. This is based on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Seasonal Produce Guide for the US.
For a more specific state-by-state guide, we recommend checking out this Seasonal Food Guide.
Or simply type ‘seasonal produce calendar’ into Google for more location-specific data.
Simply click on an item below for more information about each fruit or vegetable:
Happy sustainable eating!
We hope you’ve found this seasonal produce guide useful and informative.
Want more advice on eating sustainably?
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