Eating seasonally refers to eating foods when the harvest, flavor, and nutrients of the food are at its peak. When you eat foods in season, you are getting a fresher, more nutritious food. You will also notice foods in season are tastier than any other time of the year. This is because the food has been grown locally, in its natural and preferred climate and given enough time to mature. It isn’t picked before its ripe and shipped or flown into town. Eating in season is great for your budget. Farmers are able to grow an abundance of the food when its in season and therefore the cost goes down.
Benefits to seasonal eating:
- Healthier for you. Produce will be tastier and have more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
- Better for the environment. Less energy to grow and ship food, meaning less of an ecological footprint. “The ecological footprint measures human demand on nature, i.e., the quantity of nature it takes to support people or an economy.” Wikipedia
- Saves you money. Foods that are hard to grow and shipped from the other side of the world will be more expensive.
Here are some fruit and vegetable favorites and when they are in season:
Spring Summer Fall Winter
Cherries Cantaloupe Apples Clementines
Mango Blackberries Pears Dates
Oranges Blueberries Cranberries Grapefruit
Pineapple Figs Persimmons Kiwi
Strawberries Grapes Pomegranate Passion Fruit
Asparagus Peaches Brussel Sprouts Brussel Sprouts
Artichokes Watermelon Cauliflower Kale
Spinach Green Beans Pumpkin Chestnuts
Corn Beets Squash Turnips
Broccoli Zucchini Sweet Potatoe Leeks
Mushrooms Bell Peppers Endive Sweet Potatoe
Peas Eggplant Turnips Collard Greens
Remember that seasonal foods vary depending on region. People living in Southern California will have different options than people living in Michigan. It’s best to check with your local farmers market when picking seasonal produce. Click here to find local farmers markets in our area. Check out sustainable baby steps to see a full list of fruits and vegetables by season. You can also find what food in is season in your specific area by visiting SustainableTable.org