Sustainable eating means shopping locally as much as possible. Now is a great time to look for seasonal produce in your local area!
Buying more foods locally can be an important part of living a more sustainable lifestyle. Not only are you building relationships and supporting your local community, but you may also be consuming healthier foods!
Seasonal produce is generally fresher and more nutritious, and you can often enjoy a variety of foods that you may not normally find in the grocery store.
Here are a few reasons to buy seasonal and local produce:
1. Support Your Local Farmers
Buying seasonal produce from a farmer’s market, roadside stand, or CSA program gives you the opportunity to meet and support your local growers. But even if you shop at a large supermarket, you are more liable to find locally grown foods during the main growing season. However, buying strawberries in the winter when you know they can’t grow in your area probably means they are being shipped in from somewhere else – and that’s not very sustainable.
2. Get Better Tasting Fruits & Veggies
Buying fruits and vegetables when they are not in season means they took time to be shipped to your location – and most likely they were not very ripe when picked, which means they are often lacking in flavor or texture.
Purchasing seasonally ensures you are getting fresh food that was more likely to be picked at its peak of ripeness and flavor.
3. Try New Seasonal Recipes
One fun way to know what is in season is to watch your local media like newspapers and local TV programs. They often spotlight seasonal produce with recipes you’ve never tried before. By trying new recipes you’ll get more variety in your diet, improve your health, and maybe even learn to love new vegetables you never would have thought to try before!
4. Save Money
When produce is in season that usually means there is an abundance available, so you can find it for much cheaper than when it is out of season. For example, during the winter asparagus ranges in price from $3.99 to $5.99 a pound; however, if you purchase it during the time when it is being harvested in your local area, you can get it for as low as $1.78 or $1.99 a pound.
Keep an eye out for what foods drop drastically in price during the year. That will be a good indication that is what is in season right now.
When you find a great deal on something, buy a whole bunch of it and preserve it for the out-of-season months by freezing, drying or canning. This can help you eat locally and sustainably throughout the year.
By shopping seasonally, you can support your community, save money, improve your diet, and help the planet – it’s a win/win!
Summer and fall are great times to shop for seasonal foods in your local area, so stock up now, and you’ll be glad you did when winter comes!