Benefits of Buying Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables
The availability of fresh produce changes with the weather. Each season offers its own array of fresh produce perfectly suited to your body's needs. Eating seasonally is healthier, more economic and environmentally friendly.
Shopping for your fruit and veggies at the local farmers market provides you with seasonal produce at its peak, in terms of flavour and nutrients. Don't forget that fresh herbs and spices are also seasonal, they add taste to dishes and have a long history of both culinary and medicinal uses.
Tastes Better - In-season produce is fresher as they have been picked for consumption and naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time. Remember the taste of a juicy sweet orange in winter or a crisp sweet pineapple in summer. When transporting crops, they must be harvested early and refrigerated to stop it spoiling during transportation. Time and the chilling process reduces the flavour.
Cheaper - When farmers harvest a large abundance of produce due to the crop being in season, the cost of the produce will be reduced. When the in season produce is locally sourced, then travelling expenses and storage are not necessary.
Fresher with a Higher Nutritional Value - Vitamin C, folate and carotenes rapidly decline when stored for periods of time. Much conventionally-grown produce sits on a truck after being picked, or at a warehouse for weeks at a time before you find it on your local grocery store shelf.
Imported Contamination - When fruits and vegetables are sourced overseas you can’t be sure what the country of origin's regulations are for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Regardless of where food comes from, the fewer pesticides you are exposed to, the better it is for your health, which is one of the major reasons to seek out farm-fresh produce available at your local farmers market.
Supports Your Body’s Nutritional Needs - Seasonal produce is perfect for that time of year. For example, in winter, nature provides us with citrus fruit, that are particularly high in Vitamin C. This is important to help prevent infections such as colds and flu’s. Winter vegetables offer comfort and are perfect for hot meals like healthy stews, soups, casseroles and other warming meals. Summer foods like stone fruit, provide us with extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage. They also provide more sweetness for an energetic summer.
More Environmentally-Friendly - Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports more local produce and supports local farming in your area which means less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses and less irradiation of produce.
There is now always, a huge variety of fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices available all year round and it gets confusing to know which are imported and which are fresh and in season.
See our list below of in season produce for winter to help with your next shop::