What is eating seasonally?
Eating seasonally means only eating foods that are growing in the current season. Different geographic locations have different foods that are able to grow during the winter, with some places with colder climates not able to grow any food during the this season. However, several root vegetables like potatoes, beets, and turnips have a long shelf life and are considered “seasonal” in the wintertime.
Why eat seasonally?
When you go to the grocery store, you can purchase anything from apples to zucchini at any time of the year. Why would you want to give that up? One factor to consider is cost. In order for local supermarkets to supply out-of-season foods, they have to ship them from far away or grow them in facilities that have controlled climates. For example, this is how they get sweet citrus fruits into the stores during the freezing winter. Manufacturing out of season foods causes the price to go up, which then causes the market to increase the price you pay at the store. And eating based on what is “in-season” can help expand your palate and get you out of your comfort zone.
Sustainability is another factor to consider. A lower demand for out of season foods would require less of a need for mass transportation of goods across the globe, cutting gas emissions. Local farmers contribute to their communities by creating job and volunteer opportunities as well as being much more environmentally friendly. Agriculture can negatively affect the environment when farms use a lot of fertilizers and pesticide. Smaller farms have much less of an environmental impact, because fewer crops are mass produced and of these less chemicals are used. Eating seasonally is a small change compared to the benefits of sustainability, cost effectiveness, and environmental impact.