It was not too long ago in our evolutionary history that man either killed or plucked from the earth with his own hands, whatever was for dinner that evening. Skip forward a few Darwinian heartbeats, however, and the majority of us now utilize one-stop mega markets where we can conveniently get everything in one place, with air-conditioned comfort to boot. Thanks to the capitalization of the food industry, we no longer need to ferret through dusty earth in search of root vegetables, or climb up into the mountains to forage for berries. The industrialization of our food has led to marked increase in efficiency, with large-scale growers offering a higher yield for a better price. The result: you can have what, when you want it; no digging in the dirt necessary.
The downfall for the consumer in being so completely removed from the production of our food, however, is that most of the time we have no idea what we are eating, or where it comes from. Supermarkets fly in foreign produce from opposite sides of the world so that we can have our mango smoothies in the middle of winter. So what? You like mango smoothies on a cold winter’s morn? Maybe it’s time you considered these:
5 reasons to make the switch and eat local, seasonal produce.
- Reduce CO2 emissions
“Food Miles,” or the distance food travels to reach the consumer, is the hot word at the moment, and is rapidly becoming a recognized factor for consideration for our purchases. Put simply, it’s better for the earth (and therefore you) if your produce comes from your local area than if it needs to be flown, shipped and trucked in from other counties.
- Save money
Basic supply and demand logic tells us that in-season crops are easier (read: cheaper) to grow and that their relative abundance makes them more affordable.
- 3. Support local economy and growers
Local growers using sustainable, organic, ethical practices work hard to provide high-quality produce. Large-scale farming and the price-setting power it maintains, make it difficult for these traditional producers to compete, so why not support them?
- 4. Get the maximum nutritional value
Before embarking on a long, refrigerated journey, produce often needs to be treated with germ-killing radiation or preservatives like wax to protect it. In particular, fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C, like Spinach, have been found to decrease in nutritional value by up to three times when eaten out of season. Furthermore, our bodies’ needs are synced with seasonal produce, for example the large fluid content in juicy summer fruits.
- 5. It just tastes better.
Food not locally in season is either shipped in or grown in a hothouse, neither of which sets the bar for wonderfully fresh flavor. If a product needs to travel far, it will most likely be harvested early and refrigerated, meaning it never reaches peak ripeness and develops its full flavor.