We love the advice to 1) Eat colourfully 2) Eat seasonally and 3) Eat locally! Today we’re tackling the seasonal eating question. Why should we be eating what’s in season and does it actually make a difference? Here’s a quick read to help you understand the term and the benefits…
What is seasonal produce?
Eating produce that is seasonal means that farmers are harvesting fruit and vegetables that are able to thrive – NATURALLY – in the current season. For example, it is too hot in our gorgeous South African summer for us to grow avocados, which is why they are readily available in the cooler seasons. However, because of the demand for avocados, we still see them in the shop, but they have been imported from another country.
So why is it better to buy locally produced, seasonal produce?
Importing produce that is not in season in South Africa means that:
- The produce will be more expensive to cover the costs of importation and tax
- We are taking away much-needed revenue and support from our local farmers, who are only able to grow produce that can naturally thrive during a specific season
- The produce is less fresh due to the time it takes to get from the import country to our shelves.
- We won’t know the details of regulations around preservatives, soil contamination and use of pesticides for the country we’re importing from, thus the risk of eating nutritionally deficient food.
Benefits of eating seasonal produce
- Fruit and vegetables ripened and harvested in-season generally taste juicier and sweeter because they haven’t been stored for long periods of time.
- You’re supporting our local agricultural economy
- There is a reason why certain veg and fruit are available in specific seasons – because nature provides for what our bodies instinctively need. For example, in winter when our immune systems are often lower than normal, nature gives us citrus fruits, kiwis and peppers which are rich in Vitamin C to combat colds and flu. Similarly, in Summer, we are provided with watermelons, grapes and tomatoes, all of which have a high water content – to combat our water loss through sweating in the heat.
- It’s better for the environment. Buying close to home means less impact on the environment through things like transport, refrigeration and packaging.
To summarise, seasonal eating is better for YOU, THE ECONOMY and THE PLANET. Sounds like a pretty good reason to eat more of what’s flourishing on our farms, right?
Buy Seasonal Now!
Here’s what’s in season…
All year round
Spring (September – December)
Enjoy the benefits!