Why Eating Food In Season Matters
There are many reasons why it’s important to eat seasonally—which is the practice of choosing fruits and vegetables at the time of year when they are naturally harvested and at peak ripeness.
Fresh = Tasty (And Extra Nutritious!)
Perhaps the most obvious reason to eat seasonally is that these foods will be fresher, as in-season fruits and vegetables tend to sell more quickly due to their inherent better taste and use in traditional recipes consumed at that time of year (because historically shorter seasons meant certain ingredients used to be available only during particular months). What’s more, these items contain greater concentrations of nutrients. The longer produce sits on the shelf—whether at the store or in your kitchen—the more it loses its vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
In Season = Fewer Pesticides
In-season produce can be compared to in-season athletes, in that they both are at their physical peak and in optimal health, and are better able to protect themselves from injury or illness. Food grown outside of its natural season and environment needs a great deal more assistance in terms of pesticides, chemicals, and preservatives to grow and have an appealing look.
Unfortunately, some pesticides have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, birth defects, and other negative health conditions—so the fewer, the better. And when plants are not sprayed with such chemicals they work harder naturally to protect themselves, producing more antioxidants—making them even more nutritious.
In Season = Less Expensive
Seasonal fruits and vegetables often are cheaper simply because of the economics of supply and demand. In season means more supply, which typically results in lower prices. And if something is out of season where you live, the cost of shipping it internationally adds to the retail price.
Sometimes you’ll find cheaper imports, but that’s not always a good thing.
In Season = Smaller Carbon Footprint
International shipping also is less environmentally friendly. And eating food grown near you is a fundamental part of sustainable agriculture; you are helping to reduce the resources used and also supporting your local economy. As an added bonus, local farmers typically use fewer pesticides.
Because of all of these reasons (taste, nutrition, health, price, carbon footprint) it’s a good practice to make sure you’re combining seasonal eating and local sourcing of ingredients.
What Produce Is In Season Now?
Here are the fruits in season in Florida in April:
And here are Florida’s April vegetables:
- Bell peppers
- Snap beans
- Sweet corn
You can expect to see a lot of these ingredients on your menus. At The Pickled Beet, we always incorporate our seasonal crops into your meals. If you’d like to see more about seasonal eating, check out the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Fresh Florida website to see what’s in season year ’round.
The Pickled Beet proudly sources many seasonal ingredients locally for our personalized, chef-crafted meals. If you live in the Miami area and want meals to support your specific health needs, look no further than The Pickled Beet. We provide flavorful, healthy meals so you can eat the way you know you should—without spending hours in the kitchen. Contact us today for a free consultation.