Go Local!

The Benefits of Eating in Season

by NatureBox Health Writer Jenilee Matz, MPH

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Do you ever wonder why tomatoes are so juicy and delicious in the summertime? Or why apples are so crisp in the fall? And why fresh berries are so pricey during the winter months? 

It’s because foods can only grow and be harvested during certain times of the year. Foods that are in season in your area at certain times are not in season in other parts of the country or world during the same time.

Of course, you can buy almost any food at any time of the year thanks to today’s large global marketplace. But eating foods that are currently in season boasts several benefits:

  • It tastes better. When food is in season, flavors are at their peak and the food tastes best.
  • It’s healthier. Eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables is best for health. If you want to eat corn when it’s out of season, for instance, you’ll need to buy it frozen or canned and it may contain added sugar, salt, and preservatives.
  • You help the environment. If you live in the northeast and eat fresh bell peppers in January, chances are those peppers traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to reach your plate. Shipping foods long distances causes harm to the environment.
  • You support local farmers. Eating seasonally means you can purchase foods locally. Your dollar goes directly to the farmer instead of being split up between the large grocery chain, shipping company, and farmer.
  • You save money. When foods are in season, they cost less. To save even more money on seasonal foods, shop at local farmer’s markets.

The following foods are currently in season in many parts of North America:

Vegetables:image

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli and broccolini
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butternut squash
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips

Fruits:

  • Blood oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi

Fish and seafood:

  • Clams
  • Crab
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Scallops

 To see which foods are in season in your state right now or throughout the year, visit Eat Well Guide’s Seasonal Food Guide.

Get more healthy ideas and delicious snacks by joining NatureBox. Enter coupon code HEALTHY for 25% off your first month subscription!

Jenilee Matz, MPH a medical writer, health educator, and runner based in Charlotte, NC.