on eating with the seasons

on eating with the seasons — early winter produce
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Why eat seasonally?

It used to be the only way, but that is rarely a good reason to continue today what was once done yesterday.

1. Eating with the seasons is often quite cost-effective.

Seasonal produce is often abundant during its peak time. A higher supply, in turn, generally means lower prices compared to a similar purchase made at any other time of year — and who doesn’t want good food for more affordable prices? This cost-effectiveness is even more visible if the produce is sourced locally (what is local is usually what’s in season, though some greenhouse crops do defy the seasons) — this means reduced transportation costs, as expenses associated with long-distance transportation and storage can be avoided.

2. Eating with the seasons typically results in enhanced flavour and nutrition.

Foods grown and harvested in season are often at the peak of their flavour. This is good news for those of us who like our food to taste delicious. Likewise, seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically fresher than those grown out of season, as they are allowed to ripen fully before harvest. As a result, they also tend to have higher nutritional value. Delicious and nutritious, a real win-win.

3. Eating with the seasons is usually the best choice for environmental sustainability.

Eating seasonally decreases the reliance on energy-intensive practices such as greenhouse farming, long-term storage, and long-distance shipping. Because of this, shopping for seasonal produce generally means a reduced carbon footprint associated with food production, storage, and transportation — thereby reducing overall environmental impact* in the process.

4. Eating with the seasons can seriously support the local economy.

What is local is often in season. As well as fostering community engagement and strengthening local food systems, choosing seasonal produce that supports local farmers and producers not only contributes to the growth and sustainability of the local agricultural economy, it also promotes resilience and diversity within the local food supply chain. Three cheers to that!

5. Eating with the seasons helps make determining what to cook easy.

Seasonal eating provides a natural framework for meal planning and recipe selection. Readily available ingredients naturally tend to guide culinary choices, encourage creativity in the kitchen, and prompt the exploration of diverse cooking methods and flavour combinations. When food is harvested at its freshest and most flavourful, putting meals together is often as easy as assembling a few good ingredients prepared simply.

 

In short, seasonal eating brings with it numerous benefits. Cooking seasonally alone aligns with principles of public health, community, culture, and even pleasure, offering numerous advantages that extend beyond individual dietary preferences. By embracing seasonal eating habits, we can expect to enjoy fresher, more flavourful meals all while simultaneously contributing to environmental conservation and the vitality of local food systems.

Not a bad tradition to champion and upkeep after all, is it?

 

*more on that here, here, and here

on eating with the seasons — late summer produce
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