Guest Post: By Kathyrn O’Brien.
Why eat in season?
So there is a lot of buzz around eating in season. I thought I’d take a few minutes to highlight the reasons why I think it’s important.
Eating in season means we are eating food that is picked just when it is ready to be eaten, meaning it will taste better. Have you ever had an Ontario strawberry in June, compared to a strawberry in January? If you have you know what I’m talking about. The first one tastes like summer – it is full of flavour and a beautiful deep red colour and it just makes you happy. The second one, well, there is nothing wrong with it – it just tastes…more like the memory of a strawberry.
In theory eating in season also means that the produce is at its peak for nutrition. That is, the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in the food are at their highest amounts, meaning we get the most out of them for our health. When food needs to be shipped, it is picked slightly less ripe so that it can endure the truck ride to the grocery store. This means it likely won’t have had sufficient time to fully develop all the nutrients.
Also, eating in season usually means cheaper. Because seasonal produce is readily available, price tends to go down – an excellent consideration for those of us eating on a budget.
Another nice thing about eating in season is that it means we get to have variety in our diet. If we look to what is in season in Ontario throughout the spring, summer, and fall, you will see your diet shift from asparagus, strawberries, and salad greens in the spring, to peaches, tomatoes, and corn in the summer, and to squash, apples, and cabbage in the fall. Variety in the diet not only keeps things interesting, it also ensures we get all the various vitamins and minerals our body needs.
Finally eating in season often means we are able to support local farmers as they will naturally have what is in season in our area. No matter who we are, supporting our local farmers can make us feel like we have a small role in supporting our local economy.
Eating in season just makes sense – for the taste, for the nutrition, for our budget, and for our farmers.