By Alexandra Nucci, Registered Nutritionist
I don’t know about you but I’m not a winter person. It’s cold, it’s dark, and fresh cherries are absolutely nowhere to be found.
The warmer months in Ontario bring an incredible bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables (cherries! How I’ve missed you!) I’m a huge fan of eating with the seasons, and here are a few reasons why:
1. They taste better!
Don’t believe me? Try biting into a peach in the middle of winter – blah. Fruits and veggies are transported into Ontario from other parts of the world year round. However, these foods are often harvested before they are actually ripe, as a means of preventing them from rotting during their travels. This process alters the natural flavour of these crops and leaves them severely lacking.
2. They are better for you!
Seasonal produce is harvested at peak ripeness, which is also when they are at the peak of their nutrition profile. In addition, imported crops are often treated with ripening agents including chemicals, gasses, and heat processes. Yuck!
3. They are WAY more affordable!
When crops are in season they are abundant, and that abundance makes them far less expensive. It’s not cheap for produce to travel around the world to end up in our grocery stores, and guess who ends up paying their airfare?
4. They are better for the environment!
With all this travel comes a hefty environmental cost in the currency of fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, and air, land and water pollution. Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce which reduces the overall carbon footprint.
Eating seasonally is delicious, healthy and keeps things interesting in the kitchen. Try growing your own fruits and vegetables at home with your very own vegetable garden, or consider supporting local farmers at farmers’ markets.
Spring/Summer Seasonal Produce
Greens, greens, and more greens
Herbs, herbs, and more herbs
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
Peaches and nectarines