10 Great Reasons to Eat Local Produce
There are so many reasons to buy and eat local produce, on top of the fact that it just so delicious, here are 10 of our favourite reasons why you should eat seasonally. I hope this inspires you to go out and visit your nearest farmers or green market or maybe even start growing some food of your own.
Produce that has been allowed to fully ripen in the sun tastes amazing! Freshly picked produce has the optimal flavour – crispy, fragrant, juicy and colourful.
With each seasonal shift, the microbiology of the soil changes, the chemistry of the plants change and the microbes that attach themselves to the roots, stems and leaves of each plant shift like a changing of the guard. When we eat these plants in season, we consume the nutrients in the plant as well as the microbes that are attracted to and attached to that plant. We are also ingesting the foods that the microbes who are attached to these plants love.
These microbes make up a microbial community within us – which makes up 90% of the cells in our human bodies. When we do not eat seasonally, our microbiome is quickly disconnected to the intelligence of nature, and much of our genetic dependence on seasonal microbes is lost
Simple supply and demand. When there’s abundance of a product, the prices go down. Seasonal food is much cheaper to produce for the farmers who would rather sell their products for a lower price, than not at all. Cash in on the seasonal bounty.
Seasonal produce can grow without too much added human assistance i.e. pesticides and genetically modification. We know how these toxic compounds can contaminate the water and soil and also our health. Seasonal food is more likely to be locally produced as well, which reduces the load on our environment due to transport, or “food mileage”.
Getting to know where your food is coming from, who is growing your food and how they do it also makes you feel more connected to that whole process. Farmer's markets create communities around food that encourage us to share our knowledge, ask questions and engage in our own local environment.
6. Home Cooking
Eating seasonally also encourages you to cook more -- and there really is nothing better you could do for your health. When you start to take back control of what you put in to your body, which oil you choose to cook with, what you add to your food etc, you are consciously making better choices for your health. Cooking is also a great activity to do with your kids, family and friends.
7. Creativity and Variety
Eating seasonally keeps challenging your creativity to come up with new, fun and delicious dishes based on what you find. Maybe you choose to google a recipe, look through some cookbooks or use social media to find new inspiration and ideas about what to do with all that kale. Variety is also healthy for our bodies; by changing our menu according to what’s available you are also less likely to develop food intolerances.
8. Support of Your Seasonal Needs
The natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support our health.
Apples grow in the autumn and they are the perfect transition food helping the body get rid of excess heat and cool down before winter. In the spring the abundance of leafy greens help us alkalize, detox and loose some extra pounds after a long winter of heavier foods. In the summer we need to cool down and stay hydrated by eating more fruits, berries, cucumber, watermelon etc. Building a lifestyle around seasonal food facilitates the body’s natural healing process.
9. Organic/Free of Pesticides
Food grown outside of their season or natural environment need a lot more human assistance in forms of pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives to grow and look appealing to us consumers. By choosing local and seasonal food, you are also more likely to get a cleaner product! Many small family farms cannot afford to go through organic certification but still follow very natural and healthy growing practices.
Living in tune with nature’s rhythm makes us more aware and appreciative of the beauty around us. We can live in balance with our surroundings instead of living in conflict with nature. Embracing the natural rhythm of things also helps simplify our lives.