My ultimate favorite time of year to eat produce is in the summer. There are all of those fresh berries, watermelon, corn — it’s delicious! Not to mention that I have the best memories of being a kid picking fresh tomatoes straight from the garden and eating them with just a sprinkle of salt. For a number of years I believed that — at least where I live in the Midwest — you could only eat fresh fruits and veggies during the warmer months, but boy was I wrong. Over the last few years I’ve really gotten into gardening and learning more about where our foods come from and the benefits of eating fresh, local produce. And what I’ve learned is amazing! You can truly eat in-season all year round if you know what to buy — and be healthier because of it. Here’s why!
Benefits of Eating In-Season Produce
1. Fresher means more nutrients. Not only does in-season produce taste better because it’s fresher, it also retains more vitamins and minerals because it’s more likely to be picked at its peak ripeness and shipped to you. It’s the nutritious choice!
2. In-season is greener. And I’m not talking about color (although that can be true for some in-season green veggies!). In-season produce — especially varieties growing in your area — typically don’t have to be transported as far, which reduces gas consumption and limits carbon dioxide emissions than more exotic fruits that are shipped from across the world. To really go green, hit up your local farmer’s market! In some areas of the country, they meet year-round!
3. Save money. Ever notice how in-season produce is usually on sale? That’s because of the less costly transportation costs and because those in-season fruits and veggies are in surplus. Eat fresh and save! And, of course, if you plant your own garden, you can really save!
Unsure of what to eat month to month? Check out our slideshow that highlights common and unique options to eat in-season every month of the year!
December 21st, 2010