Why Should You Eat Seasonal Foods? 5 Benefits of Eating Seasonal Foods.

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Seasonal tomatoes

Is all that food in the supermarket sprayed out with chemicals to prolong shelf life?

Are you putting chemicals in your body by eating imported foods?

Are you worried you are contributing to climate change with your food choices?

You know you should be eating more locally produced foods, AKA seasonal foods.

It’s frustrating when you go to the supermarket, and you see many different varieties of foods and don’t know if they are in season.

If you always wonder where your food is coming from and why you should stop eating out of season food, you can learn the benefits of eating seasonal foods here and how to get started.

fruit in season

What does eating in season mean?

Eating seasonally simply means eating the food that is ready to harvest at the same time of the year you are eating the food. 

Depending on the season, the month and the part of the world you are in, fruits and veggies in season will vary. 

Fruits and veggies in season are easy to identify. They taste and smell better, and they’ve got a better colour.

Opposite to this, when you are not eating in season, the food is being shipped from abroad to your country. They need to add some chemicals to preserve the food in transit, so the food loses a bit of colour, taste and aroma. 

This also adds extra cost to your bill. More energy is needed to ship the food to you. More chemicals and pesticides are added to preserve the food until it’s delivered to you.

grapes in season

What are the advantages of Seasonal Food? Everything you need to know about seasonal fruit and vegs:

  1.  Seasonal Food Tastes Better 

One of the benefits of seasonal food is the flavour. 

Food that’s naturally grown has a strong taste and aroma when harvested. 

Seasonal food is also crunchier and perfectly ripe.

Oranges are usually juicier in the winter, and pineapples are sweeter in the summer. This is because they are picked for consumption and have been naturally ripened in the tree or the vine before they are harvested. 

On the other hand, imported food has been harvested before it’s ripened to be able to transport it before it goes off, reducing flavour during the process.

Imported chilled food loses flavour, and when they reach the destination country, they need to be artificially ripened before they go to the supermarket’s shelves.

Also, food grown in greenhouses doesn’t taste as good because the glass walls block UV light, which can cause stress to plants and affect their flavour.

  1. Seasonal food makes your wallet fatter.

Seasonal food is way cheaper. Farmers always harvest more food when it’s in season as the conditions for the food to grow are better. 

They need fewer resources to produce more, and the price of production goes down. Therefore the price you pay in the supermarket is also lower.

When the food is locally produced, there is no need to use chemicals to preserve the food for longer as the transportation from the farm to the shelves can be done in a matter of hours.

However, most supermarkets offer lots of different kinds of foods from around the world all year round. 

Food from other countries is more expensive due to the process of preserving the food and transporting it. Consumers end up paying for these extra costs. 

Long-distance transportation adds up to the final price of the food. But if food comes directly from your local farmers, the cost will be reduced as travelling expenses and storage is not needed.

green vegetable in season
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

  1. Are In Season Foods Healthier? 

Many nutritional disorders such as birth defects, weakened immune systems or blindness are related to lack of minerals and nutrients that are only found in fruit and vegetables.

Seasonal foods have Higher Nutritional Value. Once you harvest them, their nutrients and enzymes start to decrease.

The transit time from the farm to your table is shorter, and food will have more nutrients. 

Locally grown food also contains Natural phytochemicals to help our bodies. They are only found in plants, and they protect our cells and DNA from damage that may lead to cancer.

Seasonal fruit and veggies will Support our bodies natural nutritional needs in the long run and will support weight loss and clear skin. 

Nature provides the foods we need each season; it gives us citrus fruits in winter high in vitamin C to protect us against colds and cases of flu. And it gives us veggies perfect to cook winter stews and casseroles. 

In the summer, nature offers us fruit and veggies high in beta-carotene to protect us against the radiation of the sun. 

supermarket imported food
  1. The Scary truth of imported Foods.

The problem with out-of-season foods is that they come from abroad, and you don’t know what the regulations are for pesticides and fungicides in other countries.

Some countries have strong health regulations and have banned certain chemicals used to spray fruits and vegetables. 

Many regulations for soil contamination are in place to ensure the quality of the soil where the food grows.

Some agricultural areas across the globe have high levels of toxic contaminants and heavy metals due to industrial places nearby. 

However, not all countries fulfil desired health regulations for consumption. There have been cases of infections due to consumption of imported food from overseas with poor hygiene practices.  

 It doesn’t matter which country the food comes from; the less imported food you eat, the more you’ll avoid overseas contaminates and the better it’ll be for your body. 

Stop eating imported contaminated foods. Seasonal foods will make you eat less chemicals.   

Support local farmers

  1. Warning! Seasonal Food is Better for the environment.

When the consumption of Seasonal foods is higher, we support local production, which means less transportation and refrigeration, reduction of hothouses and carbon dioxide emissions.

Local production of seasonal foods respects the natural cycle of production; it’s more ecological and better for the environment.

Buying local will also support local trade generating wealth in your nearest environment.

How to eat seasonally: The easy way.

Eating seasonal food is simple. First of all, you need to realise in which hemisphere you are: 

When it’s winter in North America or Europe, it’s summer in Australia and South America. 

So, if you are in the northern hemisphere in January, the fruits and veggies in season will differ from the ones in the southern hemisphere in January.

Find your local farmers market to do your shopping. 

Join a Facebook group where people talk about local products or trade them.

You can also grow your own food in your garden, back yard or balcony.

Make jam to preserve berries and enjoy them for longer.

Preserve your food in jars. Use cabbage to make kimchi or sauerkraut, or make pickled veggies.

red apples in season
Photo by Elizabeth Tr. Armstrong on Pexels.com

What are seasonal fruits and veggies in the Northern Hemisphere?

MonthSeasonal Fruit and Veggies
JanuaryApples, Pears, Beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, celeriac, celery, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, red cabbage, salsify, savoy cabbage, spring greens, spring onions, squash, swedes, turnips and white cabbage 
FebruaryApples, Pears, Beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, celeriac, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli, red cabbage, salsify, savoy cabbage, spring greens, spring onions, squash, swedes and white cabbage
MarchRhubarb, Artichoke, beetroot, carrots, chicory, cucumber, leeks, parsnip, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, sorrel, spring greens, spring onions and watercress
AprilRhubarb, Artichoke, beetroot, carrots, chicory, new potatoes, kale, morel mushrooms, parsnips, radishes, rocket, sorrel, spinach, spring greens, spring onions and watercress
MayRhubard, Strawberries, Artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, chicory, chillies, lettuce, marrow, new potatoes, peas, peppers, radishes, rocket, samphire, sorrel, spinach, spring greens, spring onions, sweetheart cabbage and watercress
JuneBlackcurrants, gooseberries, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, strawberries and tayberries, Asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower, chicory, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, lettuce, marrow, new potatoes, peas, peppers, radishes, rocket, runner beans, samphire, sorrel, spring onions, summer squash, sweetheart cabbage, swiss chard, turnips and watercress 
JulyBlackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, gooseberries, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb and strawberries, Aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chicory, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, greengages, fennel, french beans, garlic, kohlrabi, new potatoes, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, rocket, runner beans, samphire, sorrel, spring greens, spring onions, summer squash, sweetheart cabbage, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips and watercress 
AugustBlackberries, blackcurrants, cherries, loganberries, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb and strawberries, Aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chicory, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, french beans, garlic, greengages, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mangetout, marrow, mushrooms, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rocket, runner beans, samphire, sorrel, spring greens, spring onions, summer squash, sweetcorn, sweetheart cabbage, swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress and white cabbage 
SeptemberBlackberries, raspberries, rhubarb and strawberries, Aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celery, courgettes, chicory, chillies, cucumber, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mangetout, marrow, onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, red cabbage, rocket, runner beans, samphire, sorrel, spinach, spring greens, spring onions, summer squash, sweetcorn, sweetheart cabbage, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms and white cabbage
October Apples, blackberries, elderberries and pears, Aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chestnuts, chicory, chillies, courgette, cucumber, kale, leeks, lettuce, marrow, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, quince, radishes, red cabbage, rocket, runner beans, salsify, savoy cabbage, spinach, spring greens, spring onions, summer squash, swede, sweetcorn, sweetheart cabbage, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms, winter squash and white cabbage 
NovemberApples, cranberries, elderberries and pears, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chestnuts, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, quince, red cabbage, salsify, savoy cabbage, swede, swiss chard, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms, winter squash and white cabbage 
DecemberApples and pears, Beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, celeriac, celery, chestnuts, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, quince, red cabbage, salsify, savoy cabbage, swede, swiss chard, turnips, watercress, winter squash and white cabbage  
Seasonal Foods in the Northern Hemisphere

What are seasonal fruits and veggies in the Southern Hemisphere?

MonthSeasonal Fruit and Veggies
JanuaryDates, Guava, Kiwi, Kumquats, Persimmon, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Leeks
FebruaryDates, Guava, Kiwi, Kumquats, Persimmon, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Broccoli Cauliflower
MarchAvocado, Dates, Guava, Kiwi, Kumquats, Pineapple, Broccoli, Lettuce
AprilAvocados, Guava, Kiwi, Pineapple, Artichokes, Asparagus, Zucchini, Spring Peas, Broccoli, Lettuce, Rhubarb
MayAvocados, Berries, Cherries, Peaches, Plums, Kiwi, Pineapple, Artichokes, Asparagus, Zucchini, Spring Peas, Broccoli, Lettuce, Rhubarb, Okra
JuneAvocados, Berries, Cherries, Grapes, Mango, Melons, Peaches, Plums, Pineapple, Rhubarb, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Corn, Lettuce
JulyApples, Avocados, Berries, Grapes, Mango, Melons, Peaches, Plums, Rhubarb, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Corn, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Lettuce, Summer Squash, Tomatoes
AugustApples, Avocados, Berries, Figs, Grapes, Mango, Melons, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Rhubarb, Watermelon, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplants, Green Beans, Lettuce, Summer Squash, Tomatoes
SeptemberApples, Avocados, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Melons, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Pomegranate, Rhubarb, Watermelon, Eggplants, Lettuce, Pumpkin, Tomatoes
October Apples, Coconut, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Melons, Pomegranate, Pears, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Lettuce, Pumpkins, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash
NovemberCoconut, Cranberries, Dates, Grapes, Kiwi, Kumquats, Melons, Pears, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins, Winter Squash
DecemberCoconut, Cranberries, Dates, Guava, Kiwi, Kumquats, Melons, Pears, Pineapple, Pomegranate,  Broccoli, Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Cauliflower
Seasonal Foods in the Southern Hemisphere

These are seasonal fruit and veggies calendars by hemisphere.

Please note that the above calendars may sometimes differ from the reality of your region or your climate zone. 

 If you have concerns, check online foods in season in your country, or ask your local farmer to guide you to the products in season in your specific area. 

Are there any disadvantages of Seasonal Foods?

The only disadvantages you might have only at the beginning are:

  • It may take longer to plan your shopping until you get to know which ones are the products in season.
  • Your shopping list might feel limited.

However, with a bit of planning, you will discover foods that you don’t usually buy. If you get curious, you’ll find different ways to cook them and discover the possibilities that the local food offers.

You might feel that all the benefits outweigh these two disadvantages.

The final say

When buying food, it feels you are out of control with your food choices. It feels like massive food production has control over you.

You should know what you put in your body. But that’s only possible by eating seasonal foods locally produced. 

Keep in mind that eating locally is not always easy. The important thing here is to be aware of the choices we make, trying to eat locally when possible and always remember that:

  • Seasonal food is more nutritional; it’s better for your health and tastes better.
  • Seasonal food is better for the environment. Local products reduce emissions.
  • Growing your food or visiting farmers markets will increase local production.
  • You will need a bit more planning, but you will end up saving money, the environment and your health. 

You’ve learned the benefits of eating Seasonal foods, which are the foods in season in your hemisphere and how to find them in your area. 

  1. You deserve to be in control of your food choices. 
  2. Put your new Seasonal food knowledge into action.
  3. You deserve to be in control of your food choices. 
  4. Put your new Seasonal food knowledge into action. 

Please leave a comment below if you liked this post 🙂

Check out how to make a salad with seasonal veggies here

Check out foods to fight fatigue here

If you want to get some new flavours, check out my book on Amazon for some Mediterranean recipes and tasty salads.

Try one of the PAELLA’S RECIPES from the book here

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