Why seasonal food is better for you and the planet

25 August 2015

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You’re wandering up and down the fruit and vegetable aisle at your local supermarket and you notice Brussels sprouts, turnips and leeks, but wait a minute, it's summer and these vegetables aren’t in season.

We’ve become so accustomed to eating what we want when we want that it's difficult to picture a time when you couldn't buy peaches in January or Brussels sprouts in August. Eating seasonally may seem simple - you just eat foods that are grown and harvested at the time of the year when you buy them. This is true, but there's more to it than that. There are positive benefits to eating foods that are available at the time they should be, not only is the food tastier, but it saves you money, is better for the environment, and good for your health too. Read on to find out why.

Cost effective

One of the biggest benefits of eating seasonal food is that you'll save yourself some pennies because you're buying food that doesn't take as much effort to produce. If the food is in season it's more likely to be left to grow on it's own, making it far less time consuming and the work load is reduced for farmers. It may seem like common sense, but it's one of those things many of us ignore when we're out buying the weekly shopping.

Supporting local suppliers

As well as buying foods that are in season, you can also purchase locally. You’ll have a better chance at getting foods that are seasonal and fresh and many farmers markets are likely to offer organic and sustainable produce. This can cost more money than food from a supermarket but it can be worthwhile in the long run. Remember, just because you buy seasonal foods from a supermarket, doesn’t mean a food distribution company won't keep food in storage until it’s ready to be sold on the shelves.

Healthy and nutritional

Foods that are in season and available locally offer a higher nutritional value than those that are out of season. In other words, the more local the food is, the less time it has spent being transported to you and the more nutrients and vitamins it’s likely to have retained since being harvested. Eating seasonal foods will support your body’s natural healing and cleaning abilities. For example, spring season offers lots of tasty greens like spring onions, watercress and asparagus.  Asparagus is a very good source of fibre, as well as containing vitamins A, C, E and K. Spring onions have the presence of antioxidants which helps in preventing damage of DNA and cellular tissue.

Looking after the planet

Purchasing local foods and eating within the seasons helps to protect our planet. You’re reducing the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate, and this helps to reduce the amount of fuel used and prevents pollutant gases from going into the atmosphere. Buying local, organic, seasonally grown produce protects the environment in which we live in.

Hopefully this blog has inspired you to reconsider the foods you buy, and perhaps even think about supporting your local farmers, and purchasing fresh organic food. Making this decision can be a challenge, but it has its rewards along the way. As it says in the title, seasonal food is definitely better for you and the planet!

 

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