By Chloe Howe
Let’s break down the benefits of eating seasonally.
There’s a reason why strawberries are extra sweet, and peaches are noticeably juicier in the summer: that’s when they’re in season! Letting nature do its job of ripening on the plant, then being picked and distributed within a few days, allows for the greatest retention of nutrients.
At BudiBar, it should come as no surprise that we are big fans of eating a diet filled with nutrient dense, fresh fruits and vegetables. Here’s how to get the most out of the fresh, in season produce you purchase.
One of the best ways to ensure you are getting fresh, in season produce is to shop small at local farmers markets, farm stands, coops or farm share programs. Attending a weekly farmers market is a fun and easy way to shop produce. Often, the people who grow the produce are those who sell it; they love to answer questions about their crops and provide creative ideas of how to use them in your kitchen. More importantly, shopping and supporting local is crucial given the recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the challenges it has placed on local businesses owners.
Now let’s dive deeper into the tangible benefits of purchasing local produce in season. One of the greatest benefits can be seen in your wallet! Produce purchased in season tends to be less expensive than the same item purchased out of season. This can be attributed to plentiful supply and decreased transportation costs. Next time you head to the grocery store, be on the lookout for fresh berries, zucchini, and stone fruits that will likely be on sale during summer months.
Consuming in season fruits and vegetables, especially locally grown, is best for the environment due to decreased emissions as a result of decreased transportation. When you purchase produce from the grocery store that is not in season, the chances of it being grown out of the state or country are high. This produce would have been transported either by truck or plane in order to reach your grocery store, resulting in much higher levels of carbon dioxide emissions compared to produce that was locally grown. However, this does not mean you need to purchase from a farmers market or local farm. Grocery stores are purchasing more and more produce from local suppliers – to your benefit!
With seemingly endless options of fruits and vegetables available in supermarkets, knowing what produce is in season before grocery shopping will help you make the best selections from produce that is in peak season.
To find farms in your local area, potentially join a farm share program, and learn more about the benefits to both farmers and consumers click here. Another great resource is the United States Department of Agriculture’s extensive guide to seasonal produce: linked here.