The arrival of beautiful spring weather is a great reminder of the importance of eating with the seasons for optimum health and wellness.
The changing of the seasons provides us with the unique opportunity to buy a variety of fantastic foods that are only available during that season. Seasonal foods offer a natural diversity that we should take advantage of when eating holistically for both our health and the health of our planet. There is nothing better than eating a juicy organic summer peach, vine-ripe heirloom tomato, or sweet strawberry grown by a local farmer that you know by name.
When you go shopping at any supermarket you will find fruits and vegetables available year round which are not in season. Grocery stores provide convenience by having exactly the same foods available year-round so that we are able to buy whatever we want whether it’s in or out of season.
Have you ever gone into your grocery store in the winter and looked at the huge displays of tomatoes in stock? This is a prime example of being able to buy foods out of season. Many of these out of season non-organic foods depend on waxes, chemicals, and preservatives to make them look fresh and tastier than they are. These foods are produced for long shelf life and looks rather than flavor.
When you buy foods that are not in season you are giving up all the wonderful benefits associated with purchasing seasonal foods.
I make a conscious effort to buy seasonal foods and to support my local farmers which makes me feel connected to the food that I put on my plate as well as providing me with a bounty of delicious foods to enjoy.
Here are four of the amazing benefits of purchasing organic foods in season and from local farmers whenever possible.
1. Health Benefits
Eating seasonal foods helps to support our bodies natural cleansing and healing abilities
Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of freshness and offer higher nutritional content than out of season unripe fruits and vegetables. When you eat with the seasons you can enjoy a rainbow of colorful and diverse foods in your diet as well as providing your body with a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that you need to maintain vibrant health.
Eating seasonal foods helps to support our bodies natural cleansing and healing abilities. For example spring weather offers many tasty leafy greens and vegetables like dandelion greens, spring onions, and spring garlic which are great healing foods for helping detoxify your liver and cleanse your blood.
2. Sustainable Benefits
Organic seasonal foods are grown in a sustainable manner by farmers who really care about protecting our planet. Organic farmers rotate crops to increase soil fertility, use integrated pest management to control pests using beneficial insects instead of toxic pesticides, and use sustainable composting methods for disposing of organic waste.
sustainable farmers provide us with healthier foods
By not using toxic chemicals, poisonous pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds, these farmers provide us with healthier foods along with protecting both our planet and the farm workers health. These sustainable methods of raising foods yields a superior product that offers better taste, quality, and nutrition over conventionally raised foods.
3. Environmental Benefits
Eating with the seasons and purchasing local foods helps to protect our planet because it reduces the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate. This helps cut back on the amount of fuel used which reduces pollution. Buying organic, seasonal, locally grown foods protect our environment for all the reasons I mentioned under sustainable benefits. By making a conscious choice to purchase organic, seasonal, and local foods we help protect our water, air, and land.
4. Economic Benefits
When you buy organic, seasonal, locally grown foods you help provide financial support to the farmers in your area which helps to grow your local economy. Seasonal foods are priced much more economically than out of season foods which will save you money on your grocery bills.
Some of my favorite spring foods include:
Dandelion greens, mâche, kohlrabi, pea shoots, sweet peas, sorrel, ramps, asparagus, green shallots, chanterelle and porcini mushrooms, blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, leeks, nettles, fava beans, spring onions, and spring garlic. All of these spring foods help to lighten, cleanse, and renew our bodies and get them ready for the warm summer months. I will be posting some spring recipes over the next weeks so stop back by to check them out.
take a few minutes to "give back" by writing a review for a local farm or farmers market
Get Involved in Your Community
I hope that my article will convince you to shop with the seasons, support your local farmers, and purchase as many organic foods as you can afford. Please take a few minutes to "give back" to your community by writing a review here on Eat Local Grown for a local farm or farmers market in your community...