Fruits and vegetables should be the staple products in our everyday diet, according to the claims of numerous experts on diet and nutrition. Each and every produce is a special gift from Nature and beneficial for our health in a unique way.
Do you know how we can be additionally rewarded in terms of better nutrient quality and savings on our home budget? The answer is very simple: we should purchase seasonal fruit and vegetables. There are multiple reasons why this is recommended for our health and for the local community as well.
Consuming seasonal produce is the best way to save all its nutrients and flavor
Fruit and vegetables grown in a greenhouse or transported from other countries do not have the same taste and quality as the ones grown locally in season.
Most of us have probably tasted tomatoes in winter- they are not fully ripe, their color can hardly be called red, and you can feel that the flavor is artificial, lacking the effect of the sun’s warmth that gives the summer tomatoes their juiciness and full aroma.
Transportation damages products additionally. They have to be picked before their due time and refrigerated to prevent rotting during shipment. This procedure does not allow their full flavor to develop. Moisture is lost in them as well.
Susan Herrmann Loomis, owner of On Rue Tatin Cooking School in France and writer of various cookbooks, says: “Foods that are chilled and shipped lose flavor at every step of the way – chilling cuts their flavor, transport cuts their flavor, being held in warehouses cuts their flavor”.
Furthermore, it is sometimes necessary for them to undergo a radiation treatment to destroy the microbes and keep them safe during the shipment. These procedures can deprive them of their full nutritional value and add the unwanted chemicals to them.
On the other hand, growing seasonal produce is often done naturally, in the open, and without the use of harmful pesticides. Purchasing it in the right time also promotes the work of the local farmers and strengthens the regional economy.
Light on the Budget
In-season fruit, herbs and vegetables are available in abundance, which makes it affordable for farmers to reduce their prices. Another reason for the reduction in cost is that it takes the farmers less time and effort to grow them in their right time.
And isn’t it exciting to visit the local farmers’ market in summer and early autumn? It is a real blessing for all the senses: you see a colorful array of succulent, crisp and fragrant produce that is spilling over with precious nutrients, simply calling you to consume it. But you will also reap a financial reward: the price you will pay for the seasonal produce is often significantly lower compared to the greenhouse counterparts that are grown artificially out of season.
For example, you can obtain a big bunch of fresh crisp basil for 1-2 $ in the summer. Compared to that, you will pay around 3 $ for half ounce of basil that often looks wilted and speckled. You can also pick your own blackberries for free during the summer months, while you will have to pay around 3 $ for a light basket of blackberries in winter.
Consuming seasonal produce satisfies your body’s nutritional needs
Nature definitely knows how to take care of us in every season. It offers us plenty of produce rich in vitamin C in winter, when we are more susceptible to colds and viral infections.
In summer, Nature replenishes our body with hydrating and refreshing fruits and vegetables that are also full of carotenoids, protecting us from the sun’s damaging rays.
In wintertime, we are given a choice of nutrient rich and fulfilling vegetables perfect for making warming soups and casseroles.
We are offering you a guide of seasonal fruit and vegetables that will help you make the most of them and reap all their benefits throughout the year.