Niagara offers an array of beautiful fresh produce and fruit; this is a great time to start experimenting a new way of eating. You can try new recipes and/or rework your favorites with a conscious decision to eat more seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only will your palate be impressed but there are health benefits too. Here are some of the great benefits of eating seasonally:
In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, it will have much more flavour and nutrition.
Better Price Point
When farmers are harvesting a large abundance of produce due to the crop being in season, the cost of the produce will go down. When the produce is locally sourced because it’s in season in your area, then travelling expenses and storage are not required therefore reducing the production costs that are then passed onto the consumer.
Fresher with a Higher Nutritional Value
Produce that is purchased in season is more likely to be fresher, consumed closer to harvesting and higher in nutritional value, some anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes will rapidly decline when stored for periods of time. Locally in-season sourced fruits and vegetables will also appear brighter and more vibrant.
Avoids Overseas Contaminates
When fruits and vegetables are sourced overseas you can’t be sure what their regulations for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are. Many countries across the globe have very relaxed laws about chemicals being sprayed on fruits and vegetables that other countries have banned due to their known harmful effects. Overseas agriculture may not regulate soil contamination tests to ensure land and soil quality. Some agricultural areas have been shown to have very high heavy metal and other toxic contaminates due to industrial sites inhabiting the same area.
Supports Your Body’s Natural Nutritional Needs
In winter we are provided by nature all things citrus, these are particularly high in Vitamin C which is very important for preventing infections such as colds and flu’s. Winter vegetables offer comfort and are perfect for hot meals, healthy stews, soups, casseroles and other warming meals. Summer foods such as stone fruits provide us with extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage, they also provide more sweetness for an energetic summer, as well as salad vegetables for those tasty cool summer salads.
Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports more local produce and supports local farming in your area which means less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses, and less irradiation of produce. It’s really important to note that it’s not always possible to eat locally and seasonally for everyone all of the time. It’s more about the importance of making decisions where possible that are better for you, your wallet and your health where you can.