Fact: In-season fruits and vegetables that have had a chance to fully ripen before they’re picked have the most nutrients. And these nutrients often correspond to our body’s seasonal needs. For example, oranges, which are at peak season right now—from December to March—have high levels of vitamin C, which plays an essential role in the immune system. (Just one orange supplies around 116% of the suggested daily value of vitamin C!) What better way to ward off common winter colds then eating delicious, fresh oranges?
Seasonal and local foods have to travel much shorter distances than non-local fruits and vegetables, which can have to go well over 1,000 miles to get to our local supermarkets. Plus, seasonal foods typically have fewer chemicals. Foods that have been picked too early and travel long distances won’t look as pretty as the seasonal ones that grew to their peak—so, to make them look more appealing, they’re often given chemical ripening agents, wax coatings, and other preservatives.
Seasonal foods are often cheaper than out-of-season produce because they don’t require anywhere near as much effort to produce. If it’s the right time of year, food can be pretty much left to grow on its own—which is far less labor intensive and time-consuming than procuring food out of season. Almost anything that’s in season will be plentiful—and therefore cheaper.
Foods that have had the chance to fully, naturally ripen before they’ve been picked will taste how they’re supposed to. And if you’ve ever compared the sweetness of a tomato in February to one in August—you know what allowing food to fully ripen means to your taste buds. Plus, eating in season brings delicious memories of special days, holidays, and seasons in our lives—there’s nothing like pumpkin pies and butternut squash soup to remind you of autumn or roasting chestnuts to bring memories of the winter holidays.
(courtesy of thedailymuse.com)
Here is a Seasonality Chart!