Why is it better to enjoy seasonal veggies; or local fruit & vegetables rather than those from another region?
On chatting to our local organic farmer earlier today I learned that there are some foods which, although always available are actually NOT seasonal – think baby marrows, red-, yellow- and green peppers, tomatoes and pumpkins. I quote Desire: “I know that people start getting bored with the same old same old, but that is what eating seasonally and organically is all about. We do try and grow a wide variety of ‘same old’ (Oh yes they surely do!! -Ed), but people have grown used to getting ‘out of season stuff’ from the supermarkets. These are either grown in tunnels (which then render them ‘not-organic’) or are brought in from warmer regions (also “not organic”). By the end of summer people are then looking for cauliflower and broccoli. …”
So now that we have established what “seasonal” and “local” means, WHY then is it better to eat seasonal?
Firstly, The Creator designed us totally and wholly and knew what our bodies would need, and when it would need it. Think citrus in winter – filled with vit. C to protect against winter bugs and then think of all the yellow vibrant fruit (peaches, mangoes, apricots) in summer, filled with beta carotene to protect against the sun’s rays.
Perhaps the biggest tangible benefit of eating seasonally is that you’ll save money on food! When you buy what is in season, you buy food that is at the peak of its supply and costs less to farmers to harvest and get to your grocery store. It may seem like common sense, but it’s one of those things many of us ignore when we are shopping. However the best consequence of eating seasonally is that you get the best tasting, healthiest food available. The same reasons that keep the cost of seasonal food down also drive its quality up: The food is grown closer to you so it doesn’t spoil on its trip, it’s harvested at the peak of its season (although there is no real guarantee of that!) and sold during its season – before it spoils.
Ideally, this means you’re getting fruits and vegetables that haven’t had time to lose their flavour or their health benefits by sitting in a shipping container for a trip across the ocean or the continent! and then you need to think about the footprint being left on the planet too. Is this a light print? I think not!
So what is currently in season? For September, October & November there is an abundance of apples, avo’s, bananas, dates, grapefruit, guavas, naartjies, lemons, nectarines, oranges, pawpaw, pears, pineapples, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, brussel sprouts, fennel, parsnips, red onions, beetroot, kale, turnips and blue pumpkin to name but a few….
We at Zucchini & Zest feel strongly about supporting LOCAL farmers – preferably ORGANIC farmers and we have at least four in our immediate vicinity who provide us with great veggies and great service.
Thank you for helping us support them!