Eating with the seasons is a practice that is all about selecting produce that is being harvested where you live at the time when you are eating it. It's a great strategy for optimal eating you can discover with an EHE health mentor that is less restrictive than trendy diets. Instead of reaching for a strawberry in the fall, you would opt for a crisp apple instead. In the spring, vegetables like peas, leeks, and radishes would regularly find their place at your table.
Eating farm-to-table is more than a passing trend. Eating foods that are fresh, locally sourced, and in-season is a great way to take care of your body. It is also a habit that holds benefits for the earth, your local economy, and the farmers working in your area.
Choosing foods that are in season where you live can be a great way to eat a more nutritionally dense diet that is full of variety. Let’s be honest, humans are creatures of habit. If left to our own devices, we tend to reach for the same foods time and time again.
Setting parameters that push us to think outside of the box, looking to what is in season in place of what we’ve always eaten, gives us a chance to try new things. Depending on the time of year, we might find our plate loaded with brightly colored summer tomatoes or vitamin-rich fall squash.
In addition to encouraging us to eat a more nutritionally diverse diet, many believe that sticking with what is in-season gives us the chance to taste foods while they’re in their prime. It makes sense when you think about it. We can settle for the taste of foods that have been packaged and shipped and perhaps even frozen before they make it into our hands, or we can indulge in the full, fresh flavors of food grown mere miles from our kitchen table, picked perfectly ripe, and eaten within a few days of harvest.
Eating with the seasons doesn’t just impact our eating habits, it has a positive effect on the earth and our local economy. When we eat food that is local and in season, we help support the farmers who are maintaining and caring for the farmland where we live. The money that is spent on locally grown foods helps support your local economy because that money often stays within your community and may play a role in employing more individuals within your community.
In season, locally purchased foods are also a more environmentally sustainable option. When we are closer to the source of our foods, this means that fewer resources were used to get that food from the source to our tables. Additionally, when we consume foods that the earth is naturally producing at the time, there are less artificial or chemical methods, which could be potentially taxing on the earth, being used to produce our foods.
First Steps: Eating with the Seasons
Eating with the seasons can seem like an overwhelming change. One great way to make this change is to begin attending your local farmers’ market on the weekends and taking note of what is available.
Community support agriculture, or CSA, is another way to support local farmers while adding more in-season foods to your diet. When you participate in a CSA, you commit to a small financial investment at the beginning of the season and in exchange receive weekly or monthly deliveries of seasonal foods as they are being harvested.
Ultimately, our hope at EHE is to encourage individuals to eat a more nutritionally dense and diverse diet loaded with fresh vegetables and fruit.