Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Benefits of eating what’s in season

HOW often have you gone to the supermarket or another place that sells fruits and vegetables and not been able to get what you wanted?

Or, maybe it’s there but instead of locally grown, it has been imported? Most of us have experienced this at some time or another. This occurs mainly when the particular food is out of season. There are many benefits of consuming foods when they are in season, for good health and otherwise.

First of all, when you get food that’s in season, it is the freshest and most readily available.

This means that in addition to being easily accessible, the food should have a nicer taste. That’s because food that is imported has to be harvested early and refrigerated, otherwise they’d rot during transportation. Also, imported produce may not be properly ripened and may not have been allowed to develop their full flavour. Often we don’t realise the difference as we become so accustomed to the taste, however, there is little comparison to fresh local produce.

Typically, seasonal and local foods tend to have fewer chemicals in them.

You see, fruits and vegetables that have to be picked early for transport to different countries or across long distances, aren’t as nice to look at as seasonal produce that was allowed to mature fully. The downside is that often these foods are given wax coatings, chemical ripening agents and other preservatives, to make them appear more appealing.

Eating seasonally also means that you have a wide variety to choose from and can mix up menus all the time. There’s no need to have the same vegetables in your Sunday beef stew throughout the year and, breakfast fruit salads can be just as varied. It makes eating more fun, while being very healthy for individuals.

Finally, if the health benefits didn’t sell you on the idea, what about the reduced costs? Usually when you purchase produce that is in season, the costs are considerably lower than when they are out of season. This means that not only do you get the chance to have healthy meals daily, but, you are saving money in the process.

In summary, eating what’s in season benefits everyone in the long run, as individuals have the opportunity to improve their diets with local healthy options, all year round. (JJ)

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