Have you ever wondered why it might be good to eat foods according to the season? You probably notice how there are certain fruits and vegetables available in the fall (apples, pears, squash) versus what is seen in the spring/summer (melons, papaya, asparagus).You most likely gravitate to buying and eating these foods because they are plentiful, they are what is grown regionally and can only be gotten in surplus at that time. Do you think it may also be what the body craves?
Our body temperature changes from season to season and is regulated by our thyroid. We are warmer in the summer, and our bodies move toward foods that cool us off. As the weather cools off, so do our bodies, and we need foods that keep us warm since there is less sunlight. These natural changes year round also help us to make healthy food choices. Try to go with the flow and not think so much about what we should have but eat more naturally what our bodies crave, in moderation. This can lead to less worry, less calorie counting and help the mind stay in tune with the body–in other words, promoting a balanced nutrient distribution over time. Let’s embrace this natural, seasonal variety for our body and mind.
What other benefits are there to eating seasonally?
We help support local farmers and the community. The money stays close to home, passing through less hands, and keeping with the local farmers and growers. If you don’t have many farms near you, visit or join a Community Supported Agriculture* (CSA) farm. You pay for a guaranteed amount of food and some will even deliver their harvest to convenient distribution locations. You want to ensure it is not too far away to minimize the shipping time and freshness.
We eat more full flavor fresh food from the earth. Local food is whole nutrition and there is no time to lose nutrients due to being shipped from miles away, most likely sprayed with some preservative, and then packaged in plastic. Learn from farmers’ markets—if it is not available, it is most likely not in season, which is a sign we probably should not be eating it. Seasonal food tastes better and reduces the consumption of processed foods.
We spend less since the abundance of crops brings costs down. It is the simple supply and demand rule—when more is available and in need, there is cost efficiency.
We help protect our environment and preserve green space, top of mind to many consumers today. Food not having to be shipped thousand of miles reduces the carbon footprint. And, not to mention food safety—less steps from the source to the table means less chance for contamination.
These are all positive outcomes. It is amazing how staying local and eating seasonal can actually help you branch out and build smaller relationships leading to a larger connection to the world.