The Importance of Eating Seasonal Foods
Life always comes a full circle. Where earlier on people ate certain foods only when they were in season, things had changed to an extent where people could buy any type of food from the supermarket, irrespective of its seasonal availability. But now, once again we are moving back to the old approach, but there’s a marked difference. Earlier people didn’t know any better, and they were not living in a technologically advanced period where non seasonal food was actually available to them.
Today, technology makes it possible for us to have strawberries in winter but scientists and researchers are telling us that we should shun them. Here’s why:
- When you buy seasonal produce and fruit, you know for a fact that just a little while back the fruit or vegetable you’re planning to chop up and serve in your salad was part of a plant. The nutrition levels of fresh, seasonal food is very high and it’s not surprising that this level goes down considerably, the longer the food stays unconsumed.
So, it’s a good idea to eat freshly picked fruit, or freshly harvested produce. By doing so, you will also be supporting the local farmers and local markets, which, in turn, works well for the entire economy.
- Supermarkets add gloss to their fruits and vegetables to keep them looking fresh and inviting. By gloss, we mean that supermarkets and huge food chains take pains to ensure that food is attractive even though it is not in season. To do this, they naturally compromise on the nutrition level of the food. So, who loses out in the end? You, the consumer.
- Seasonal foods are more or less organic and if you’re going to be eating non seasonal foods, do keep in mind that they’re probably full of pesticides as well. Healthy eating goes down many notches when you give in to eating non-seasonal foods.
- Seasonal foods are good for the environment also. Even if you don’t have a single green thumb, all of us can be good environmentalists by reducing the number of food miles that the food has to make before it reaches your table. The more local you eat, the lesser chances of using food that has been flown in from half way across the world, in effect consuming that much more fuel.
- The world is slowly gearing towards locally produced seasonal food. Highly acclaimed chefs and foodies like Gordon Ramsay make it a point to introduce locally produced seasonal food in their menus and there’s a reason for this shift. Today, the focus is indeed on taste, flavor and nutritional goodness that you derive from food.
- Foods that are grown out of season are often sprayed with chemicals of all sorts because it requires a little bending of nature’s rules for these foods to survive the strange season in which they are brought into the world.
- Seasonal foods are also not expensive because it doesn’t cost the earth to produce them at a time when they shouldn’t be available ideally. Seasonal foods are cheaper to produce and hence, cheaper to buy as well.
- Nature has a cycle of its own for a very good reason. The foods that appear in winter are normally because they are of the heating type and keep you warm. Likewise, in summer you have cooling foods and these keep your body cool. If we revert this natural order, we’re likely to not receive any of nature’s benefits that were meant for us. What’s more, we could be doing more harm than good by eating foods that are clearly not in season.
- The same vegetables or fruit produced in seasons in which they are not meant to be around, seem to have different nutritional values. This goes a lot to show that indeed there’s something to be said for eating seasonal food. In fact, research conducted by scientists proves this very concept, so it’s always a good idea to eat fresh, seasonal food.
- The more preservatives that are added to unseasonal foods, the more nutrients they lose and give you no health benefits whatsoever. So, in effect you’re paying for harmful preservatives and not for nutrition when you buy unseasonal foods.
- One of the biggest reasons why you should opt for seasonal foods is because they are full of antioxidants that are so good for you. Antioxidants fight free radicals, keep you young and keep diseases at bay. Look for fresh seasonal berries and indulge in them whenever you can because they’re exceedingly good for your health.
- Seasonal fruits and berries can be incorporated into your everyday diet without any hassles. Combine them into smoothies or make juices out of them and enjoy the goodness that they offer.
- Seasonal foods are a way of reconnecting with the cycle that nature intended for us. It helps you become a natural being as opposed to someone who is ruled by the whims of supermarkets.
Our ancestors may have eaten seasonal food because they didn’t have much choice. We on the other hand can make an informed and educated choice by opting to eat only those foods that are grown seasonally. Eating healthy is important because otherwise, you are doing your body a huge disservice. Eat seasonal and be healthy is the new age mantra indeed.