Why is eating in-season important?
We don't know about you guys, but when Spring time rolls around in the Pacific Northwest, the sun starts to make a more frequent appearance, the trees change colors, and Farmer's Markets and local produce stands are even more abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables. We've all heard that eating locally and in-season has great benefits, but why? And how can we do that this Spring season?
1. It's Good for Your Health
Eating in-season usually means you're loading up on a ton of whole-foods. From fresh fruits, to vegetables, to herbs, these foods play a huge role in building your immune system and helping protect and fight against free radicals. When food is purchased in-season and consumed closer to when it was harvested, it has a higher nutritional value. Produce that is stored for long periods of time before hitting the shelves at grocery stores lose some of their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant value over time.
2. Can be Affordable
When you buy local and in-season, it can be a lot more cost-efficient for you and your household. When crops are in-season and there is an abundance being harvested, cost of produce decreases to help reduce waste. In addition to abundance, production costs are cut significantly when the produce is sold locally. Travel time and storage isn't needed for farmers which means cost of goods is less than it would be in the store. This benefits yourself, but it also benefits and supports local farmers which is incredibly important. When you do so, it also helps the environment by reducing the amount of out-of-season produce being grown, less hot houses being used, and more.
3. Tastes Better
Have you ever noticed how much more bright and vibrant produce is at a local market versus a grocery store? This is because the goods were harvested when ripened, making the produce as fresh as it can be! When food is grown out-of-season, it is harvested early, stored and chilled while transported, then artificially ripened in a hot house before being sent to stores. All of this takes away a lot of the flavor that makes fresh produce so amazing. There is so much processing that goes on in foods sold in grocery stores that we can be programmed to think that's how it should taste. Fresh, local, in-season produce tastes so much better - trust us.
So What's In-Season Right Now?
There are so many fruits and vegetables in-season, so we suggest doing your research, but below are a few of our Spring favorites! A fresh salad with leafy greens, roasted beets, and yummy toppings like LivBar makes an easy, nutrient-dense meal. Get creative this Spring season and have fun with your fresh produce!
We understand how eating in-season this Spring may come with some challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, but it's even more important to make an effort to nourish your body with whole-foods during this time in addition to supporting local farmers and businesses. There are many Farmer's Markets making your go-to farmers accessible during this time, so we encourage you to do some research with your local markets to find out new protocols or how to access these goods so you are sure to stay safe and healthy.