In-Season Eating and Why It Matters
This week is National Farmer’s Market Week! Farmer’s markets are gaining popularity throughout the United States, and it’s no surprise. Farmers markets help to boost the local economy, support small business owners, are a greener option than shopping at a supermarket, are more affordable than supermarket prices, and create a positive social community environment. One of the biggest benefits of shopping at your local farmers market is the benefit of eating fresh food that is in season now.
Eating food in-season is also gaining popularity in the United States. Although, historically it is what people always did. Before refrigeration and the ability to ship produce, people always ate what was in season. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Seasonal eating means two things, really: building meals around foods that have just been harvested at their peak and adjusting your diet to meet the particular health challenges of winter, spring, summer and fall.” Eating food that is in-season naturally balances your diet to increase certain vitamins that are needed based on that particular time of the year. For example, “In winter we are provided by nature all things citrus, these are particularly high in Vitamin C which is very important for preventing infections such as colds and flu’s. Winter vegetables offer comfort and are perfect for hot meals, healthy stews, soups, casseroles and other warming meals.Summer foods such as stone fruits provide us with extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage, they also provide more sweetness for an energetic summer, as well as salad vegetables for those tasty cool summer salads.” (www.rebootwithjoe.com)
Eating seasonal food also tastes better! When food is picked in season it is allowed to ripen on the vine (or tree, or bush, etc.) vs. on a shelf if it is shipped. This allows produce to grow to its full potential which makes it nutrient rich and delicious. Try this, buy a tomato from the store and buy one from the farmers market and taste test them side-by-side. The farmers market tomato will almost always have more flavor, and better texture than a store-bought tomato.
Seasonal produce is also less expensive. “When the produce is locally sourced because it’s in season in your area, then travelling expenses and storage are not required therefore reducing the production costs that are then passed onto the consumer.When we buy produce that is out of season, it’s normally sourced from out of area locations that have a different climate and it can also be stored for long periods of time to offer people a variety of produce all year round, these factors will push the price up.” (www.rebootwithjoe.com)
The Delray GreenMarket only provides food that is in-season. All of our products are locally sourced. To find out what’s in-season now, please click here, and visit the GreenMarket every Saturday to stock up on the freshest food around!