Mar 06, 2023 • Annie Cao
Even though fruits and vegetables are now available at your local grocery store all year-round, there are many benefits to shopping by the season. Here are 6 reasons why you should buy in-season produce instead.
When fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested at the right time, they taste fresh and flavorful. As foods make the long trip to grocery stores, they end up losing their freshness and some of their nutritional value. In fact, foods from a large supermarket chain might be in storage for weeks or months before you bring it home to eat. Large commercial farms that mass-produce crops also value looks and shelf life over taste, meaning that flavor is sacrificed for meeting production demands.
In order for produce to be available throughout the year, certain fruits and vegetables undergo post-harvest treatments. Examples of these treatments involve heat processes, chemicals, and gasses to artificially ripen them. They can also be coated with edible films and waxes to protect the produce, but it probably isn’t healthy for our bodies. Not to mention, produce that is imported from overseas have different regulations and may be grown in contaminated soil or sprayed with other chemicals. Organic, in-season produce usually isn't treated with any ripening agents because they're picked at peak freshness.
When certain fruits and veggies are in season, farmers are able to harvest an abundance of produce and the prices will be lower. Locally sourced foods are also less expensive when you buy according to the seasons.
Fresher produce has higher nutritional content compared to out-of-season foods. And like mentioned earlier, there are fewer chemicals, which is better for your body. Additionally, nature naturally knows what your body needs each season. For example, citrus and winter vegetables are available during the colder seasons to boost our immune systems and provide healthy stews and meals that will warm up our bodies. On the other hand, summer produce allows us to cool down and stay hydrated in the heat.
Choosing what to eat based on the season reduces the demand for out-of-season produce and supports local farming. Industrial farming creates a high level of harmful emissions through soil and water pollution, excessive packaging, and using fossil fuels during transportation.
We have a blog post all about the reasons why you should support farmers markets, but buying locally means that your food will be fresh, nutritious, and bursting with flavors, all while helping your local economy.
Do you buy in-season produce? Let us know in the comments below and share this article if you found it helpful!
Cover image via Time Out