Healthy Eating

Benefits of Eating in Season

By June 5, 2017No Comments

Budget Friendly

When produce is in season in your local area, the abundance of the crop makes it less expensive. Take berries for example. In the middle of January, you could pay $6-$7 for a half a pint of fresh blueberries. But when berries are in season, you will likely find pints or even bigger containers for $3-$4.

It’s the basic law of supply and demand, when crops are in season you are rewarded financially by purchasing what’s growing now.

Taste the Flavor

We all want the food that we eat to taste good!

Especially our vegetables and fruits!!! When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped from other parts of the world, and both will affect the taste. When crops are transported, they must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t rot during transportation. Therefore, they might not ripen as effectively as they would in their natural environment. As a result, they don’t develop their full flavor.

For example, compare a dark red, vine-ripened tomato still warm from the summer sun with a winter hothouse tomato that’s barely red, somewhat mealy, and lacking in flavor.

Really there is no comparison, the summer tomato’s flavor is much more robust.

More Nutrients

According to Brian Halweil, author of “Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket,” “If you harvest something early so that it can endure a long distance shipping experience, it’s not going to have the full complement of nutrients it might have had.” Transporting produce also sometimes requires irradiation (zapping the produce with a burst of radiation to kill germs) and preservatives (such as wax) to protect the produce which is subsequently refrigerated during the trip.


When we eating for the season, we have variety all year round!

In the spring, focus on tender, leafy vegetables that represent the fresh new growth of the season. Think lots of green with Swiss chard, spinach, Romaine lettuce, fresh parsley, and basil.

In the summer, focus on light, cooling foods in the tradition of traditional Chinese medicine. Foods include fruits like strawberries, apple, pear, and plums; vegetables like summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn; and spices and seasonings like peppermint and cilantro.

In the fall, shift to more warming foods. The autumn harvest includes: carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic. Focus on warming spices and seasonings including ginger, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.

In the winter, eat almost all warming foods. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, and lamb. Also most of the root vegetables, carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic are also warming.

Many regions like ours, have VERY limited growing seasons, making it virtually impossible to eat locally and in season 100% of the time. So what do you do? The best possible scenario is to grow it and pick it yourself, that way you know exactly what went into growing those vegetables and you can enjoy them at their peak the day they are harvested.

But if gardening isn’t your thing…it’s not mine…then visiting a local farmer’s market weekly or joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm is the next best thing.

While it isn’t always possible to purchase your seasonal produce locally, a good option is to purchase what’s in season somewhere else. Hopefully that isn’t too far away to minimize shipping time.

Determine what’s in season right now, you will benefit from high quality produce, packed with nutrition, and it will be at a lower cost. To find out what is harvested seasonally in your area, go to www.localharvest.org to find farmers’ markets near you and seasonal produce guides.

Your taste buds, health, and body will thank you!!!