The benefits of seasonal eating

The benefits of seasonal eating

What is seasonal eating?

Seasonal eating involves consuming fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are naturally harvested at the time of year when they are at their peak ripeness and flavour. This practice aligns our diets with the natural growing cycles and climate conditions of our local regions. Unlike foods that are available year-round but shipped from distant locations, seasonal foods are fresher, more nutritious, and environmentally sustainable.


Nutritional and community benefits of seasonal eating

Seasonal foods are often more nutritious because they are harvested at their peak ripeness, ensuring maximum nutrient content. Key benefits include:

  • Fresher produce: Local food is harvested at peak ripeness, ensuring maximum nutrient content and taste.
  • Reduced nutrient loss: Shorter transportation times mean fewer nutrients are lost from farm to table.
  • Seasonal variety: Consuming seasonal produce eating what's in season, which can provide a variety of nutrients throughout the year.

Environmental impact of seasonal eating

Eating seasonal foods significantly reduces the environmental impact associated with food production and transportation. Key environmental benefits include:

  • Lower carbon footprint: the amount of energy needed to grow and transport the food we eat is dramatically reduced when it comes from a local, seasonal source, compared to buying out-of-season produce, shipped from around the world
  • Enhanced soil health and biodiversity: Growing seasonal crops often involves crop rotation and other practices that maintain soil health and promote biodiversity.
  • Water conservation: Seasonal crops often require less irrigation, conserving valuable water resources.

Economic benefits of seasonal eating

Buying seasonal produce supports local farmers and boosts the local economy. Seasonal produce is often cheaper due to lower production and transportation costs, making it a better choice economically. 

For example, strawberries are more affordable in the summer when they are in season and abundant, compared to winter when they are out of season and must be imported, significantly raising their price.


Why seasonal eating matters

Seasonal eating stands out for several reasons, including its superior nutritional benefits and positive environmental impact. Consuming foods that are in season ensures fresher, tastier, and more nutritious produce while supporting sustainable agriculture and reducing the carbon footprint.


Issues with non-seasonal produce

Non-local and non-seasonal produce often comes from industrial agriculture, which can lead to several issues. These include lower nutritional value due to long storage times, transportation, and the use of chemical preservatives to prolong shelf life. 

Additionally, industrial farming practices can contribute to environmental degradation, such as soil depletion, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and higher greenhouse gas emissions, further impacting global climate change.

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