Who Doesn't Love Fresh, Seasonal Produce?
It’s hard to forget the taste of juicy, ripe strawberries during the height of summer, or freshly chopped herbs from your windowsill garden all year long. Those moments often stick out in our minds, offering a rare opportunity to connect with our food beyond convenience and quick-and-easy cooking. Eating and preparing locally-grown, seasonal produce year-round is an important reminder that our sources of nutrition don’t magically grow at the supermarket or appear out of the fridge. In fact, a local harvest is precious to us in more ways than one...five to be exact.
Locally-grown, seasonal food is more nutritious. Unlike the apples that sit on your grocery store shelves all year-round, fruits that are picked when ripe are bursting with flavor and nutrition simply because they spend less time in transit. So from the time you grab one of those Pink Ladies at your local farmer’s market, to the moment you take a bite, you’ll have already received more nutrients and a better taste than if you had bought at the grocery store.
It can be cheaper. If you’ve ever grown fruits or vegetables, you know what it’s like to have loads of squash or berries that need to be eaten immediately. The same is true for farmers who find themselves with an overabundance of produce during the height of the growing season. Pro-tip: Score two for the price of one at the last half-hour of your market to see just how much leftover food there really is!
It promotes a safe environment. It’s nearly impossible to know how far or for how long your food has traveled to get to your supermarket. Purchasing locally-grown foods eliminates the need for air travel (one of the biggest polluters!) and supports green space in your area.
Support your local economy. In an economy that offers less and less support to small-scale farmers, your purchase makes a huge impact. Besides being labor-intensive, small-scale (especially, organic) farmers are often overshadowed by commercial farms that mass produce crops or livestock. Buying from your local grower is the best way to directly support a cause you care about.
It cultivates connection. It’s hard to find a reason to care about something without having a personal connection first. Seeking out seasonal, locally-grown produce gives you a tangible connection to the source of the your food and the vital nutrients that are necessary for all life on earth. Over time you may even realize that beside the body, this is food for the soul.