You’ve probably heard many suggestions to eat local, seasonal foods. And while you also think it’s a great idea, you might not be clear on exactly why. Look at any restaurant menu and they will proudly boast about their “Seasonal Fruits” dessert, or go into any supermarket and you’re met with their display of seasonal vegetables. These foods are all around us, and yet so many of us remain in the dark as to the real reasons to eat local, seasonal foods for the majority of our meals.
When it comes to making food choices, there are generally 3 main reasons to pick one food over another.
- Is it cheaper?
- Does it taste better?
- Is it healthier?
Let’s consider local, seasonal foods using these 3 questions as a guide.
Consider These Reasons to Eat Local, Seasonal Foods
1. Local, seasonal foods are cheaper.
By its very nature, seasonal foods are cheaper than foods out of season. The reasons for this are simple; when something is in season, there is plenty of it to be supplied. Contrast this with something that is out of season, and there is far less of it available. As a result, the cost of seasonal produce is always cheaper than foods that are produced out of season. This is one of the biggest reasons why people should consider shopping seasonally. You can save a great deal on your checkout total when you shop seasonally. You just have to simply be aware of what is scarce and what is in great supply.
2. Local, seasonal foods have a better flavor.
This is directly linked to the considerations above. Food tastes at its best when it is freshest, and it will undoubtedly be at its freshest when it’s in season! There is also the very real consideration that in-season foods can generally be sourced locally, as there are fewer preservation considerations when the produce is at its freshest. As a result, seasonal foods can often be some of the freshest, tastiest and most affordable foods available.
3. Local, seasonal foods are healthier.
This is a big one that many people debate. You can probably answer this one yourself by now, but let’s consider it anyway. We already know that a balanced diet consists of fresh, unrefined foods that haven’t been heavily processed or tampered with. Local, seasonal foods are exactly what you’re looking for in this regard. Farmed up the road and entirely unprocessed, local seasonal foods give you the best chance to get the most out of your food. And the brilliant thing about eating seasonally is that your diet changes throughout the year! As a result, seasonal eaters get a huge variety in their diet throughout the year, further enhancing the health benefits of seasonal eating.
When you consider all of these benefits, it’s hard to explain why anyone wouldn’t consider including local, seasonal foods in their diet on a regular basis.
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Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.