In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. When fruits and vegetables in season 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 flavor and nutrition. Most people have experienced that super juicy perfectly sweet orange in winter or that crispy sweet pineapple in summer.It is must to harvest and refrigerate crops early so that they do not spoil during transportation.
However, chilling will reduce the flavor. To make things even worse, the produce may need to spend time in a hothouse so that it can artificially ripe before it can reach the shelves. This greatly reduces the flavor, changes the texture and the taste. Think of those floury apples, flavorless tomatoes and limp tasteless greens. You may find that the food may be half rotten inside or overly fibrous such as an out-of-season pineapple.
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.When we buy produce that is out of season, it’s normally sourced from out of area locations that have a different climate and it can also be stored for long periods of time to offer people a variety of produce all year round, these factors will push the price up. Here are more reasons we love local produce.
Fresher with a Higher Nutritional Value
There is a greater chance that the produce purchased in the season is more likely to be fresher. The produce that you buy locally has higher nutrition value as it does not spend time in the store or on the shelf. It is a known fact that the produce that comes from storage houses loses some anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes during the storage period.
Locally in-season sourced fruits and vegetables are brighter and more vibrant rather than limp and dried up. The fruits and vegetables that come from storage houses or from overseas have less phytonutrient content. Large markets and grocers may buy out-of-season produce. Whole sellers gas, irradiate (a burst of radiation to kill germs) and preserve the produce in wax to increase the shelf life.
Avoids Overseas Contaminates
The imported fruits and vegetables in season are a major cause of distress in your health. Their regulations for pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are different from our country. Many countries across the globe have very relaxed laws about chemicals that farmers can spray on fruits and vegetables. Other countries have banned most of these chemicals due to their known harmful effects. Overseas agriculture may not regulate soil contamination tests to ensure land and soil quality. Some agricultural areas have very high heavy metal and other toxic chemicals due to industrial sites inhabiting the same area.
Lack of hygiene overseas is a major issue
Health practices in some countries are not according to international standards. Here in Australia we have recently had a large contamination of Hepatitis A from frozen berries that have come from China. Many Australians have health problems due to poor hygiene practices overseas.
Exporters irradiate, bleach and spray products such as garlic with methyl bromide to withstand quarantine and long periods of travel as many of fruits and vegetables are that make the long haul trip in ships.When produce is in season, cheaper and often on sale it’s a great time to buy in bulk for yourself and preserve, pickle, ferment, freeze and store your own food at home. I collect berries, mangoes, peaches, nectarines in season and store in the freezer, chopped up for later use and I can be sure where they have come from.
Supports Your Body’s Natural Nutritional Needs
In winter nature provides us all things citrus, these are particularly high in Vitamin C. It 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 food 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 fruits and vegetables in season ly reduces the demand for out of season produce. It 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 fruits and vegetables in season locally every time. It’s more about the importance of making decisions that are better for you, your wallet and your health.
Visuals by: Michelle Monsanto Büchler & Piktochart | Text by: Michelle Monsanto Büchler