What are the benefits of eating food in season you might ask? Well the answer is quite simple really but we will cover this in more detail so you can understand the entire magnitude of why that is so. First of all we need to remember the best fruits and vegetables are the ones during their season and you simply can't deny it. And why is that? Because the ones grown out of season are either the product of hydroponics or they are grown in isolated conditions where they don't get the chance to experience the seasonal love of the sun and the open air. The best food is the one locally grown and in season from organic local farms.
All of these however are not only relevant in regard to fruits and vegetables but even animal products as well. Dairy for example has been recorded as having different compositions during winter and summer possibly in part due to the difference in the feed given to the animals as well as the changes in their physiology according to each season. The same applies to pretty much any food product throughout the year that is derived by natural means and constitutes as “living” food.
So how can we eat seasonal food and what does that exactly mean? Depending on the location where you live your menu will change in time or it will stay the same. For example during the different seasons you can focus on the following:
- Spring calls for focusing on the wonderfully tender and lovely vegetables growing as the rebirth and fresh growth appears after the winter months. This renewal should be represented by similar greens on your table such as spinach, lettuce, parsley, fresh basil and Swiss chard among others.
- Summertime is a moment when you'll need to enjoy nice cooling food that is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as plums, strawberries, apples, pears, cauliflowers, broccoli, summer squash, melons, watermelons and other nice, juicy fruits and vegetables. Peppermint and cilantro are excellent seasonal spices that complement the food cooked in this season.
- As fall arrives the focus of your meals will change toward a nice and warm diet of harvest foods such as sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and whole grains. Spices such as ginger and peppercorn are also preferable for this season as they fit well with the rest of the food.
- Winter is the most difficult season of all as you must turn toward warming food with increasing exclusivity. You might ask what warming and cooling foods are and we will answer: foods with different thermal properties which help either cool or warm your body during their respective seasons. Appropriate food during this season should be fish, beef, chicken, venison and lamb. Root vegetables such as garlic, potatoes and onions are also a welcome addition as well as eggs, nuts and corn.
So overall what are the main reasons you should eat seasonal food?
First of all you will enjoy an easier time shopping as your expenses will be smaller when you do that. That happens because the abundance of a certain crop in season makes the individual product cheaper as it is with any product on the free market.
Second – It will taste a lot better than anything else. The vegetables and fruits in season have a chance to ripen in a natural way while being given the time and care they deserve.
Third – It offers variety people have naturally experienced over the centuries as they ate what was available during the season for the most part. There are many companies which import food from all over the world but that food takes time to reach you. The freshest, most healthy and green ingredients can be found and bought locally so don't miss the chance to enjoy what the local farmers market can offer.
A guest post by: polartraveller