Color me confused when as a 28-year-old living in Tennessee I stood in the grocery store looking for strawberries in the middle of winter. You see, this Florida girl didn’t really know that you could only get fresh strawberries year-round in warmer climates. This started a whole conversation in our house about seasonal produce and when fruits are in season.
When are fruits in season and why should I care?
The truth is, most of us don’t know when products are in season. If it is at the grocery store we buy it and that is the end of that. Some of us even live in big enough cities that we don’t feel the impacts of the seasons changing because we can get pretty much anything any time of the year. But there are a number of reasons why you should care when exactly veggies and fruits are in season. And eating fruits in season isn’t just about the time of year- it is also about eating what is locally in season.
Produce is better and riper.
When you are eating vegetables and fruits in season you’re getting better produce because it isn’t being shipped across the country. Without having to worry about shipping time produce is picked at its prime – not beforehand for it to ripen on the way if it had to be shipped.
It is cost-effective.
Eating vegetables and fruits in season that are locally grown means that you’re not having to pay for the overhead of transport or expensive greenhouses to grow out of season produce. Chances are you’ll also find seasonal produce readily available at farmers markets which can some times have better prices than stand-alone grocery stores. There are even companies like Imperfect Produce that will ship a customizable box to you!
It meets your bodies seasonal nutrition needs.
Everything in the natural world has a ying and a yang. There is a balance, a cycle. Seasonal produce aligns with your bodies seasonal nutritional needs. And it makes sense if you think about it. Fruits in season in the summer are going to be full of the nutrients your body needs to stay active and give you energy. And in the winter you’ll see produce that helps keep your body fueled during colder months when you’re using energy to stay warm.
It is better for the planet.
Eating fruits in season and buying locally grown produce helps limit food waste and keeps the planet happy. It helps conserve water and has a minimal carbon footprint which is why so many zero waste and eco-conscious individuals start following a local in-season diet. And we know eating the same thing can get boring. Trust us, I don’t think Tim wants to see green beans for a while. But getting creative in the kitchen and trying new recipes is a great way to avoid getting bored with your food.
Peas, strawberries, green beans, asparagus, rhubarb, pineapple, avocado.
Corn, tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, collard greens, bell peppers, blueberries, blackberries.
Pomegranate, arugula, chiles, grapes, radishes, onions, shallots, broccoli.
Kale, brussels sprouts, winter squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, beets, grapefruit, oranges.
No matter what your reason is for embracing season produce there are a number of ways to make the most of it. Consider signing up for something like Imperfect Produce or a coop delivery box from a local farm. And keep in mind that many small grocers stock locally available fruits in season