Buying Seasonal Produce… the Why, the What and the Where

This is something I have tried to slowly transition to. Although difficult especially if you like some vegetables or fruits that are not in season and can not help but buy them. However, trying to eat seasonal produce is definitely the best way to go if you want the freshest and environmentally friendly produce.

The Why

Simple… eating in season produce is always fresher and riper than out of season produce. On top of that, you know your produce has not been sitting in the refrigerator being transported from some far away country to yours. It also can save you a ton of money. In season produce is normally more affordable than out of season as it does not require the same importing process.

That travel time it takes for your out of season produce to get to you has a huge environmental cost that only increases your carbon footprint. Let’s change that by eating in season. Since seasonal produce is also harvested at its peak, it retains most of its vital nutrients in comparison to out of season. Finally, eating in season brings you closer to the earth and allows you to really try new things regularly. The appreciation for different fruits the earth bears is a gift.

 

The What

A problem many people face is knowing what is in season versus what is not. Look no further, I can give you a quick run down. There are plenty of online sources that can give you a full list of produce, but I will give you a couple examples that stood out to me. Just to note, I am Canadian so my seasonal produce will be based on my location. Feel free to research the guide for your own location to confirm.

Spring:

Asparagus

Fiddleheads

Radishes

Spinach

Beans

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Strawberries

Cherries

Summer:

Berries

Melons

Peppers

Tomatoes

Zucchini

Rapini

Shallots

Fall:

Pumpkin

Leeks

Eggplants

Brussels Sprouts

Cranberries

Potatoes

Radishes

 

The Where

There are so many options as to where you should buy your produce and they entirely depend on your location. I have an appreciation for farmers markets. Supporting local and you can find some incredible deals on in season produce at farmer markets. I recommend searching to see where your local farmers market is. I live in downtown Toronto so I love to go to St Lawrence Market. Supporting local Ontario farmers is a lovely feeling!

Now I do understand this is not always do-able. You may not have a farmers market conveniently close by. Or you may have allergies or picky kids who eat 2 fruits and 1 vegetable only. The key in all of this is to not completely change your lifestyle, but to slowly transition to a more environmentally friendly way of sourcing your meals. Even if that means, eating more broccoli during the season or making eggplant dishes more often in the Fall. Trying new vegetables that are in season you may not have tried before. I’m a firm believer that even a little transition will make a huge impact! If each person out there, ate 65-75% in season produce, the average carbon footprint would decrease.

 

Make a promise to yourself and just do it!

Plus if you like experimenting with new recipes, it’s definitely a fun habit to adopt!

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