Seasonal eating may be trending, but a simple and sustainable way to live a healthier lifestyle. Seasonal eating relies on eating fruits and vegetables that are currently in grown during the current season, preferably within your own geographic area. For example, seasonal eaters consume tomatoes and watermelon in summer and asparagus in the spring.
Health Benefits of Seasonal Eating
Eating seasonally is packed with nutrients you may not get otherwise. Seasonal produce is usually fresh and contains a higher national value, including Vitamin C, folate, and carotenes that usually decline when stored too long. Because seasonal produce also tends to taste better due to its freshness, you're likely to consume more of it.
Most big-box retailers rely on mass-harvested, packaged produce that often contains preservatives to keep them looking fresh. However, farmers' market stands and small grocery stores are more likely to sell seasonal fruits and vegetables that are free from chemicals. They're more likely to sell quickly and leave the shelves to make room for the changing season's produce.
Environmental Impact on Seasonal Eating
It's true that in some situations, seasonal eating can create more carbon emissions, depending on where and how you're sourcing your food. However, seasonal eating can also be an environmentally friendly practice that reduces the need to create artificial weather environments to stock year-round produce at large grocery stores. The strategy behind seasonal eating can also reduce food waste and make food production more efficient.
Is Seasonal Eating Expensive?
Just like any type of diet, seasonal eating can get expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Buying healthy, local, and seasonal produce is generally inexpensive when you're looking in the right places. You're choosing products that are already in season and need to travel fewer miles to get to your doorstep or local produce stand. Purchasing directly from farms, small produce stands, or cultural grocery stores are usually cost-effective.
You can also start a small, seasonal backyard garden at a nominal cost. Once you've invested in some gardening supplies and seeds, you can reuse your supplies to keep producing more food. If you live an apartment, growing your own herbs in windowsill pots is cost-effective and requires almost no space.
How to Make Seasonal Eating Fun
Seasonal eating can be fun when you're experimenting with delicious, colorful dishes. Even picky eaters are delighted by desserts and pastries made from fresh fruits. Frequenting your local markets is also a great way to meet new people and engage with your local community.
Seasonal eating is also a social event. Consider hosting dinner parties or afternoon spreads with seasonal produce, dips, and drinks, including fresh cucumber water with mint. When everyone is sharing in the benefits and joys of seasonal eating together, it's easier to stick to it and enjoy the process.
How to Make Seasonal Eating Easy
Trying anything new can get complicated without the right approach. Get started by researching what produce is in season right now and incorporate more of those choices into your diet.
One of the easiest ways to get started with seasonal eating is through a high-quality meal subscription service. Fit Trax prepares whole food custom prepared entrees with healthy fats and carbs. We source as many organic ingredients as we can from local family-run suppliers with sustainable practices. We focus on healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables with grass-fed and wild-caught fish.
Remember pickling and at-home preservation offer a healthy and long-lasting alternative to manufactured chemicals. You can always pickle vegetables like cucumbers and beets, freeze freshly harvested strawberries, and dehydrate apples to enjoy during the off-season.
Eating seasonally sourced foods can offer high nutritional value and tastes fantastic. Ready to try it for yourself? Browse FitTrax's selection of delicious entrees here.