Getting Real Health - Holistic Health, Nutrition & Fitness Coach

Eating Seasonally, Buying Locally

Learn why eating locally, and in harmony with the seasons, is not only good for you, but good for the environment.

Eating Seasonally, Buying Locally

Locally grown foods are always fresher. Usually local produce is picked and on the stands within 24 hours.

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of good nutrition. Their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants have been proven to help us stay healthy, longer. However, studies have shown that fruits and vegetables start to lose their nutrients as soon as they are picked.

Most of our grandparents grew up eating from backyard gardens and local farms. Very often, the food was picked, washed and prepared on the same day. Most people tended to eat only what they grew and therefore was in season - exactly what nature intended.

Today, industrial farming has changed that landscape, literally. Now we can buy any variety of produce during any season - like eating strawberries at Christmas. This is counter-intuitive to our biological rhythms.

It’s no wonder why industrialized farming has done more harm than good. Not only does it create pollution and chemically tainted produce, it has driven off smaller farmers who were working in harmony with nature’s seasonal cycle. 

So where does your fruits and vegetables come from? Well, if you are getting it from the supermarket, you are getting food that has been picked four to seven days prior to hitting your grocer’s produce aisle. The produce exchanges many hands and moved from bins to trucks to warehouses during its processing and packaging. Then, it is often shipped hundreds, and sometimes thousands of miles to get to you.

Locally grown foods are always fresher. Usually local produce is picked and on the stands within 24 hours. They’re handled less and have a smaller chance of being contaminated. Since these foods have traveled less, this much shorter journey leaves a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

Eating locally grown foods also supports your local economy because the farmers get about 90 cents per dollar. With supermarket produce (after packaging, distribution, and marketing) the farmers get only 21 cents per dollar. 

By eating locally grown food, you are eating in harmony with the seasons. We have different needs every season. In the summer, we need cooling foods, like watermelons and berries. In the fall, we crave warming foods like potatoes and pumpkins. In the winter, we need even warmer foods like meats, rice and beans. And spring brings about cleansing foods like sprouts and greens.

When we eat with the season, we are eating foods that are at their peak taste, most abundant and cheapest. But don’t take my word for it. Taste the difference by supporting your local farmer.

For more information about farms near you, visit localharvest.org.

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