Top 4 Reasons to Buy and Eat Seasonal Food
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Published by TOP4 Team
Fruits and vegetables are must-haves on any grocery list. These foods provide much nutrition to the body, and quite simply, they boast of such a vast array of tastes and textures. It’s safe to say that there is hardly any person on the planet who can say he doesn't like a single fruit or vegetable. But really, who wouldn't enjoy the succulent sweetness of peaches, or the satisfying crunch of sugar snap peas, or the savory, healthy goodness of spinach?).
Of course, different kinds of produce are in season at different times of the year. So eating seasonal food allows you to enjoy the freshest produce all-year round. If you go out of your way to buy fruits and vegetables during their best months (well, as much as your tastebuds or your wallet will allow), you may discover a number of wonderful benefits.
Provided below are the top four reasons for purchasing and eating what's in season:
1. They're at their most delicious and nutritious.
This is perhaps the best reason to choose seasonal fruits and vegetables. If you need only one reason, then this is it. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption after they have been naturally ripened on the tree, vine or bush, their flavor and nutrition will be at peak levels.
Think about it: if you buy a fruit outside of its natural harvest season (and typically from another location where they are in season), much of the rich flavor will have been lost during the transportation process.
The fruit would be harvested early, refrigerated, heated at the intended destination to stimulate ripening — all unnatural efforts to produce a semblance of a naturally ripened fruit. These out of season fruits will lack taste, vibrant colours, and the natural texture that people love about them.
2. You can get them at lower prices.
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are typically sourced locally so they won't come with transportation and storage costs that would be passed on to the consumer. As previously mentioned, out-of-season produce will often come from different states or countries and will thus travel a long way to get to you in a condition that's most artificially close to ripeness.
And if there are plenty of farmers harvesting large amounts of the same crop because they're in season, then the cost of the produce will go down. So when you buy seasonal food, you can save money.
3. You won't be consuming toxic substances that come with fruits and vegetables stored overseas.
Produce coming from different countries will have been subjected to various regulations regarding fungicides, pesticides, herbicides and other substances that would help ensure the preserved quality of the produce throughout the long trip. Other countries may also have different soil contamination testing procedures than those done in your own community. As such, you will never really know if you are ingesting harmful substances with your food.
If you buy seasonal fruits and vegetables from your local farmers' markets, on the other hand, you can talk to the farmers themselves and discover the processes involved in producing their homegrown food. Typically, locally grown produce won't be treated with chemicals since locals will be buying them practically right after being harvested, when they are at their freshest.
4. You'll be doing the environment a whole lot of good.
If you regularly buy your produce from local farmers, you won't be creating demand for produce from distant locations that require transportation, storage, refrigeration, artificial heating and irradiation.
What you will be supporting, instead, is the livelihood of local growers who will continue to supply you with the sweetest, tastiest, juiciest, crunchiest and most vibrantly coloured and beautifully textured fruits and vegetables at the right season. There's no better way to keep your dinner table filled with nutritious, delicious food than this.
Enjoy the best seasonal dishes and explore the best of Melbourne’s food scene through these top-rated restaurants.