Easy concept – eat the foods that are growing and being harvested in your area during the current season. But, why? With modern mobility and access to everything all of the time, why would we possibly want to limit ourselves and eat seasonally?
1. Nutrition. Do you know when that papaya was harvested or whether it was even ready to be harvested? Many times food is picked before it has reached ripeness in order to ensure that it can handle the travel from farm to store. Some foods, like tomatoes, can ripen and develop after harvest. However, a lot of foods are nutritionally deficient if they aren’t allowed to complete their growth on the plant.
2. Flavor. Fresh, ripe food tastes like it’s supposed to. Food picked early hasn’t developed it’s full flavor profile.
3. Price and sustainability. A large harvest from a local farm will mean lower prices for you and less of a carbon footprint. Eating what’s in abundance is always the most economical and environmentally friendly method.
4. Connection to natural cycles. Every part of our lives are affected by the seasons and cycles of the planet. When you eat food grown in local soil, pollenated by local creatures, you have a deeper connection to the inherent cycles of nature. This, in turn, deepens your appreciation for nature and your own humanity, which turns into a better state of wellbeing.
5. Variety and education. Eating locally and seasonally exposes you to new fruits and veggies that you might not ever encounter if you only shopped at grocery stores. It presents a great educational opportunity and it’s so much fun to experiment with something new!
6. Cleaner product. Produce that has to travel is often coated in wax, falsely made to look fresher than it is. The closer you are to where you food was grown, the more you will know about it.
7. Creating community and supporting local economy. There are only positive outcomes to buying locally and becoming involved in your community. Ask questions, develop relationships, learn about your neighbors and local farmers.