Why Eat Seasonally?

Author: Amanda Metcalf

Often when returning from the grocery store I hear housemates sing, “the shop didn’t have any”, the dinner disruption usually a shortage in the fresh produce section. Yes, it is a pain to have to rethink your dinner plan, or leave out flavours in your meal, but there is also something to benefit everyone when accepting a seasonal diet.

Penny Pinchers (Cheap)

Seasonal eating is cheaper! When a fruit-tree bares fruit, the entire tree will be covered, and chances are that that species of tree will be ripening everywhere in the southern hemisphere too. Grocers attempt to maximise sales while the fruit is ripe so the shops average out the prices to be lower, as well as placing bargain sales on produce that are within the last stages of ripening, meaning the savings are passed on to the frugal, well-fed, you. Some may even push this argument further to say the nutritional content being greater means the body is better fed, meaning craving less food, which could mean less snacking.

Healthy Hippies (Fresh)

Eating seasonally is what mother earth wanted! Seasonal eating can be a way of beginning to acknowledge the cycles in which our rudimentary calendar systems are stamped out, or what living in the southern hemisphere has thereof reversed. Seasonal eating is a way of connecting back with the earth by eating the freshest bounty presented to us and in return it delivers the greatest health benefits. The greatest level of nutrients is contained within fresh produce as the least time has been spent between tree and consumer, as opposed to produce that has been cold-stored for six months and is available all year round.

Relatable Rebellions (Grassroots)

It should be well established by now that farmers’ markets are havens for the rebellious, as they strip away most systems of power just by operating. Granted we all have something pop up from time to time that may disrupt the once a week ritual, the next best thing for all those trying to avoid empowering huge grocery store corporates is to simply shop seasonally at any grocer. As already mentioned, seasonal produce is cheaper which means that the profit line is thinner, so the fat cats will get a little less pie. Not as commonly mentioned when talking about seasonal consumption is the larger effects of awareness whilst shopping, things like huge corporations distorting food genetics, and international trade agreements that will place food from the US in front of you rather than local produce. To have a knowledge of what is within season and what is not is to avoid purchasing fruits that have more flyer miles than you…and by extension, disenfranchising the back-door agreements put in place by governments and companies to employ soft control systems.

Leisurely Laymen (Thermogenesis)

Eating seasonally is not only for the strong hearted, it can also appeal to the every-human. There are many studies that outline how eating seasonally is a way of adjusting to the environment around. The examples vary, though a universal element that is often studied is temperature, called thermogenesis. To put it simply, when eating watermelon (summer fruit), the blood is made thinner, meaning that the overall body temperature would be lessened, verses a sweet potato (autumn, winter, spring vegetable) which will thicken the blood and produce heat energy to warm body during digestion. Meaning that lazing around on the weekends inside or out, could be made more comfortable.

Creative Cookers (Experimental Substitution)

It is initially disheartening that there is a fluctuation in produce availability that disrupts dinner plans, but the bright-sides to reinvigorating a well-loved recipe easily outweighs the negatives. One of the most accessible forms of creativity – experimenting with cooking at least once a day – will balance-out the mediocrity of daily living. Social media only aiding the food-photo obsessions, where individuals invigorate savoury salads with bright blue or pink coloured berries or spread pastes of deep-rich red around the plate of a poached fruit breakfast. The ‘new’ is exciting, and to maintain interest within healthy eating is to maintain healthy eating. To experiment with new things that are in season in grocers not only aid the Instagram feed, they are another insurance of eating a balanced diet.

More Information

When researching further on which fruits and vegetables are seasonal, ensure the search is geographically relevant. And if research is tiresome, shopping at farmers’ markets is an easy option where there is usually nothing other than seasonal produce available. The change to diet is considerably mild within the Sydney climate as most popular produce is generally available for most of the year, so do the research and think of the benefits next grocery day.

Find out more with Sustainable Table’s Australian Seasonal Produce Guide.

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