Have you ever wondered ‘what is all the fuss about seasonal eating?
In countries like Australia we are fortunate to have access to all sorts of produce all year round. In fact, even fruit and vegetables that aren’t in season are often available just as much as in-season produce! So why bother eating seasonally…?
Why Eat Seasonally…?
While we have the ability to access most produce anytime we want, there are many benefits to eating seasonally and you may be surprised to learn about some of these.
In-season produce are often:
When in-season, there is a greater abundance, so prices go down. Seasonal food is also cheaper to produce (ideal weather patterns and temperature) – so less costs to produce equals less costs to the consumer. Produce that isn’t in-season often requires additional storage and transportation, which increases the price.
Seasonal produce, especially if you buy it from your local area or farmer, tends to be fresher due to recent harvesting as well as less travel and storage time.
Seasonal produce is often allowed to ripen before harvesting which results in better flavour. Long storage time and freezing can also impact flavour.
- More nutritious
Produce picked when ripe and fully developed contains more nutrients. Longer transportation and storage time depletes some of the nutrients. Fruit and vegetables start to lose nutrients immediately after they are harvested.
- Helps support local farmers
Buying seasonally and locally helps support your local farmers, which is definitely a worthy cause. Farmers often sell their produce on the roadside, at local fruit and vegetable grocers or at farmers markets. While not all of this produce may be from local farmers, often a majority is, which usually means that it is fresher and more nutritious. So why not look out for grocers that stick produce from local farmers.
How do I know what is in Season…?
What’s in season at the moment? As this changes each season and differs slightly by region, it can be hard to keep track. Check out the Seasonal Food Guide Australia website to find out what’s in season and in your region of Australia: http://seasonalfoodguide.com
While at times you may find that you want or need to buy something out of season, buying the bulk of your fruit and vegetables seasonally has huge benefits. Not only do you help support your local farmers, but you also save money and the produce tends to be more fresh, tastier and more nutritious.