If you have had anything to do with gardening in the past, you will know that its almost impossible to have ALL fruits and vegetables growing ALL year round.
Because of inventions like long term cold storage, for example, having all types of fruits available all year makes it extremely difficult to figure out which of the fruits and vegetables are in season. Very few people make an effort to find out!
The Basic Benefits of Consuming
Seasonal Food Items
1. In-season fruits have a higher nutritional value since they are picked fresh and donât spend a lot of time packed in containers and accumulating harmful bacteria and chemicals from the surrounding environment.
Did you know that apples can be kept in cold storage for up to 6 months before they appear in your local green grocer or supermarket? Did you also know that the moment you pick food from the tree the enzymes in it begin to break it down and the nutrients are destroyed with each passing day. Therefore, the nutrients in an apple from 6 months (or longer!) of cold storage are practically non-existent.
Couple that with the information about vitamin and mineral levels in soils being heavily depleted globally, whereby mineral and vitamin content of modern day produce is greatly diminished compared to their war time counterparts, then youâre looking at a situation whereby âeating healthyâ is practically impossible because foods are just not fresh and are substantially lacking in nutrients!
2. Eating seasonal fruit can bring interesting variety to your meals, allowing you to change your menu based on seasonal produces. Things like purple carrots, fresh stone fruits, berries and mangoes can be added in summer for amazing new flavours, allowing you and your family to expand your palette.
In winter, foods like radish, parsnip, potatoes and carrots mean you can create hearty, warming meals to keep you feeling fuller longer, meals that âwarm the cockles of your heartâ.
Its tends to be that those families and people who consume a lot of artificial food can get stuck in the habit of eating same things all around the year, like a âFood Rutâ.
3. Buying seasonal fruit that has been locally grown in your own community means that it isnât shipped around all over the world. This means storage times are reduced so you can get fresher food and also the carbon miles are reduced greatly too! If there can be less energy expended getting the food from farm to your table then food choices can be more sustainable for everyone
What is In Season - When?
To help you identify which items available in your market are seasonal, here is a list of some seasonal fruits and vegetables and the seasons which they are most prevalent and fresh. You will also save money too because high season fruits and vegetables are often priced cheaper â to ensure they donât spoil before being sold.
Fruits â Apricots, Honeydew, Mango, Strawberries, Oranges, Limes, Lychee Cherries, Pineapple, Melon, Jack Fruit, Cherimoya
Vegetables â Corn, Broccoli, Asparagus, Peas, Vidalia Onions, Manoa Lettuce, Morel Mushrooms, Watercress, Ramps, Radicchio, Rhubarb, Fiddlehead Ferns, Cactus, Green Beans, Fennel, Fava Beans
Fruits â Black Currants, Cherries, Limes, Lychee, Figs, Blueberries, Asian Pear, Apricots, Loganberries, Peaches, Raspberries, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Watermelon, Mulberries, Elder berries, Cantaloupe, Jackfruit, Honeydew Melons, Boysenberries, Black Crowberries
Vegetables â Okra, Radishes, Peas, Shallots, Garlic, Eggplant, Edamame, Beets, Corn, Tomatillo, Butter Lettuce, Manoa Lettuce, Endive, Cucumbers, Winged Beans, Green Beans, Lima Beans, Summer Squash, Zucchini Squash, Chayote Squash, Crooknose Squash
Fruits â Apples, Grapes, Pineapple, Sapote, Pomegranate, Guava, Key Limes, Passion Fruit, Pear, Quince, Sharon Fruit, Sugar Apple, Cape Gooseberries, Feijoa, Cranberries, Black Crowberries, Huckleberries, Muscadine Grapes, Persimmons, Kumquats
Vegetables â Endive, Garlic, Ginger, Pumpkin, Butter Lettuce, Mushrooms, Dumpling, Turnips, Swiss Card Radicchio, Kohlrabi, Cardoon, Brussels Sprouts, Belgian Endive, Cauliflower, Diakon Radish, Broccoli, Sweet Squash, Buttercup Squash, Delicata Squash, Chayote Squash, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Black Salsify
Fruits â Dates, Oranges, Grapefruit, Pear, Ref Banana, Tangerines, Passion Fruit, Clementines, Cactus Pear, Sharon Fruit, Persimmons, Mandarins, Kiwi Fruit, Cherimoya, Red Currents, Cardoon, Pear, Pummelo
Vegetables â Turnips, Dumpling, Leeks, Kale, Chestnuts, Sweet Potatoes, Collard Greens, Brussels Sprout, Buttercup Squash, Delicata Squash, Belgian Endives
Just be careful that the fruits and the vegetables you pick are seasonal and buy natural seasoning items to cook them. You can also create your own backyard garden where you can plant these seasonal fruits and vegetables in a completely organic way. This way you can lead a greener and healthier lifestyle, eating the freshest of foods that are nutrient dense and packed full of flavor.
You havenât tried an apple in its fullness of taste until youâve picked it from a tree and eaten it!
The Eco Mum xo
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