Eating Seasonally and Shoulder Season

Eating seasonally has benefits. For some eaters rotating their meals based on what’s fresh locally is having some built in diversity. It can make meals more exciting as they wait for their favorite produce to be harvested. Others find that it saves them money as prices tend to be cheaper when the produce is in season.

I found this nugget on Jaime Oliver‘s site:

local squash seasonal eats

Produce is at its peak nutritional value when it is fresh and ripe, so the fresh fruit and vegetables you pick up from a farmers market which are freshly harvested are great for you in terms of maximum health and nutritional benefits. Fruits and vegetables that have travelled long distance to be sold are picked before ripeness, and although the produce might gain color and softness on its journey to the supermarket, its nutritional value decreases – once harvested, a vegetable is as nutritious as it is going to get, and nutritional value decreases every day past harvest.

Seasonal food is not only good for your health but there is an environmental aspect too – although we can now buy foods grown virtually anywhere in the world, these options are not the most sustainable. By buying local you can help decrease the environmental damage of shipping foods thousands of miles, and you and your family can enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruit and vegetables.

With all of its benefits, though, eating seasonally can also pose challenges.

Eating Seasonal Year Round

Shoulder season is a phrase associated with travelling and slow/off seasons, but it applies to seasonal eating as well.  In some areas of the world, food is available pretty much year round albeit with different crops being harvested at different times. However there are many times when things slow down (or in some areas, stop growing). What can you do?

Can you eat seasonally and still have food year round?

Learn to Prepare and Store Your Food

For many the answer is yes. Even if it’s a bit of work, learning how to properly store your food can pay dividends. You can enjoy fresh food year round when you prepare your produce and meats as you get them fresh. For some that means portioning and freezing or it could be canning.

Wojo and I have written about storing your food a couple times, specifically Effective Ways to Stop Wasting Food and How To Freeze Your Berries. While neither one of us or experts or chefs, we both appreciate savoring a good thing, so we try our best not to waste food.

Thoughts on Eating Seasonally

How about you? If you eat seasonally, how do you smooth out the small dry spells? For those who eat seasonally as much as possible, what are some of your biggest challenges?

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon