- Large agricultural businesses do not produce enough variety.
- Produce is often shipped thousands of miles, via ship, rail, truck, to distant grocery stores.
- When shipped, the produce is most often picked early, irradiated with radiation to kill germs, covered with preservatives (wax for example), refrigerated to keep from ripening early, and never truly developing its full flavor nor its complete vital nutrients.
While access to this produce is beneficial overall, grocery stores as well as your local farmer’s markets, and local private and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms also provide the opportunity to eat what’s in season.
Eating what is in season is not necessarily eating local or eating organic, though both can apply.How do you know what’s in season? Even at your local grocery store, you will notice fresh cherries at certain times of the year, the plethora of peaches, the abundance of fresh corn.
Why would you want to eat in season?
Eating in season is kind to your budget. The abundance of produce makes it more affordable. Additionally, if you are buying local, you are supporting your local economy.
Eating in season means that your produce has had the opportunity to ripen naturally and to fully develop its flavor.
Natural Nutritional Needs
Your body knows what it needs, and the natural cycle of the seasons for produce allow your body to attain these nutrients. Fresh leafy greens in the spring shift your body from the heavier foods of winter. Succulent summer fruits and vegetable help cool and hydrate the body in the heat. Hearty root vegetables help prepare your body for the coming cold weather.
By your fresh seasonal produce selection you provide your body with the nutrients it needs naturally. As with its fully developed flavor, fresh seasonal produce is more likely to not only have fully developed its nutritional value, but you will also most likely take advantage of this opportunity by preparing [blog link] and consuming it immediately.
Fresh seasonal produce will add variety to your diet. It may also prompt you to explore new and exciting recipes to add to your meal planning.
The following sources can help you discover what is is season:
• USDA: What’s in Season
• Local Harvest
• Eat the Season
• Sustainable Table Seasonal Food Guide
• Simple Steps: Eat Local
• Eat Well Guide
Contact your local Metabolic Medical Center to discuss incorporating more fresh seasonal produce into your individualized weight management and lifestyle program.