Spring has sprung and it’s time to shrug off our cold weather habits, including making the transition from heartier winter foods to the lighter fare of the season.
Farmers markets will start to come alive again with new produce, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of seasonal eating.
WHAT IS “SEASONAL EATING”?
When a food is referred to as ‘in season’ it generally means that it is grown and harvested during its natural growth cycle. This would indicate that the food is naturally at it’s most ripe, and at it’s best both nutritionally and taste-wise.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SEASONAL EATING?
1. It’s better for you. Most of the time, the food will have been grown geographically closer to you meaning that it remains fresher during the process of farming and selling on to you. Accessing the foods while they are still so fresh means that the availability of all the nutrients is at it’s peak. On the flip side, out of season foods are regularly sourced from overseas and can undertake prolonged transit times, often in freezers.
2. It adds variety to your diet. Following seasonal eating patterns means you have to change your diet based on the time of year, instead of sticking to your cupboard staples every day. Not only will this spice up your cooking habits, over time this would also inevitably mean that you’ll be getting a wider spectrum of nutrients.
3. It’s also cheaper, because there’s less shipping distance involved. You may notice that particular items in the supermarket fluctuate in price during the year, based on where the food has to come from. The longer the distance, the higher the price.
4. It supports local farmers. You should be able to find options at co-ops or markets that are both seasonal and local, and contribute to the ongoing sustainability of smaller local businesses. This is a win-win because of, again, the shortest possible distance between yourself and your food, and the positive impact on the local economy.