Eat Seasonally – Here’s a Few Good Reasons Why…
As you know apples are available all year-round but the actual picking time is between January and April. But don’t be a fool and assume if you bite into a Granny Smith in March it is fresh seasonal produce, it could have been picked over a year ago! And supermarkets make no secret of it, with some farmers calling their apples ‘birthday fruit’ because some apples can have their first birthday before being sold to the public. Follow this link to read more about it…
There was a time when our ancestors ate certain foods only when they were readily available and in season because there was no other choice. Nowadays, thanks to modern food processing techniques and worldwide distribution of resources, most foods remain available to us all year round. Supermarket shelves are stocked exactly the same irrespective of the seasonal availability of food. Fruits and vegetables transported from far away can be picked before they have naturally ripen and nutritionally matured, allowing the produce to survive for days or weeks while being transported. Processes such as controlled atmosphere storage keep our apples at zero degrees and deprive them of oxygen, slowing their metabolic rate to prevent full ripening. Produce such as green bananas are heated and treated with a food-grade ethylene, a man made copy of the hormone bananas naturally release to trigger ripening and create uniform yellowing. Furthermore, non-seasonal produce is often full of pesticides, waxes, preservatives and other chemicals that are used to make them look fresher than they actually are.
And the experts tell us there is no compromise to nutrition or taste…!
Eating seasonally is crucial to a healthy lifestyle; it’s a way of reconnecting with the organic cycle that nature intended for us. Local produce that doesn’t have to endure long distance travel means it doesn’t lose so much of its vital nutrients along the way. Fruits and vegetables that are harvested as they ripen or mature have developed abundant nutrients. When you choose seasonal produce you will find much more flavour than fruits and vegetables shipped from across the country or from the across the globe. Eating with the seasons can bring variety to your diet and help you get the full complement of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that nature offers. There are plenty of studies that conclude that seasonally grown produce is of a higher nutritional quality. Here’s a study that looks at the vitamin C content in seasonally harvested broccoli. Wunderlich SM, Feldman C, Kane S, Hazhin T. Nutritional quality of organic, conventional, and seasonally grown broccoli using vitamin C as a marker. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Feb;59(1):34-45.
So please eat seasonal local produce and choose organic wherever possible! Check out Adelaide’s Farmers Market and other markets that support local growers. The House of Healing will be updating our Facebook page with plenty of seasonal produce suggestions and recipes. References for this article: