Eating seasonally simply means consuming fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Unfortunately (and understandably), the practice of seasonal eating is often neglected due to busy lifestyles and the desire for convenience. However, there are so many advantages to shopping and eating seasonally that can benefit your health, environment, and your wallet. Keep reading below to learn more about seasonal eating and get some tips for the next time you go grocery shopping!
Benefits of Eating Seasonally
Firstly, seasonal produce is generally fresher and much tastier. When shopping in season, you are guaranteed fewer pesticides and preservatives in your produce since they are grown at the optimal time. According to studies, exposure to pesticides has been shown to be associated with an increase in detrimental health concerns.1 Another benefit is that seasonal produce is more nutrient dense. When picked before peak ripeness, the nutrients in fruits and vegetables are not fully developed. When harvested at the correct time, they are fresher and have higher nutritional value. The final health benefit of eating seasonally is that it allows you to have a more balanced diet. Choosing different fruits and veggies depending on seasonality encourages more variation in our diet, which is extremely beneficial when working on your health and avoiding diet boredom.
Shopping in season can also help you save money, especially when you are working on adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet. In-season produce at grocery stores and farmers markets have a lower transportation and distribution cost which often results in lower prices for the shoppers! In addition, seasonal shopping is better for your local community. By purchasing seasonal produce, we are supporting local farmers which helps them maintain their farmland and continue producing.
Lastly, buying in season and locally has environmental benefits. When we buy produce that is not in season where we live, it takes a lot more energy and fuel to transport it, either by train or plane, across the country. This makes eating “out of season” less eco-friendly. Seasonal eating has the ability to reduce the environmental impact of your produce choices.
Tips for Seasonal Shopping
Now that we understand the benefits of eating seasonally, let’s discuss some tips to make seasonal shopping a little easier! In season produce depends on where you live. One way that I like to keep up with what foods are being grown near me throughout the year is by using this seasonal food guide… Also, be sure to check out my Instagram for a monthly seasonal shopping reel!
Once you have an idea of what produce to look for, you will definitely not have an issue finding seasonal produce at your closest grocery store. If you are looking to find seasonal produce that is grown in your local area, try going to farmers’ markets, farm-to-table restaurants, or you could even try growing your own! Look for sales in the supermarket as well; this can often indicate seasonality.
Del Prado-Lu, Jinky Leilanie. “Pesticide Exposure, Risk Factors and Health Problems among Cutflower Farmers: A Cross Sectional Study.” BioMed Central, Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 18 Sept. 2007, https://occup-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1745-6673-2-9.
Co-Created by Caroline Depietri, Pilates Instructor and Nutrition & Psychology Student