5 Reasons to Follow the Seasons and Eat Local
Since mother Earth began sharing her bounty with humans, there has been an almost magical wisdom to the timing of when things grow in different parts of the world.
With the advent of planes, trains, and boats, along with the various ways to keep produce from spoiling we can now eat anything we want anytime. Fruit in the winter? No problem! Summer vegetables in the Spring? Bring it on!! However, I still feel it is very wise, and very healthy to take advantage of
nature’s seasonal wealth.
The most obvious reason is freshness. When you eat what is growing in season it has just been picked, and so it is at its most nutritious. After it has been harvested it starts losing nutrients. So the closer to home the food is grown, the better it will be for you.
Taste is also a clear advantage. Produce that has been freshly picked tastes so much better than fruits and vegetables that have had to be stored and shipped for days or weeks. Also, if
it is coming from far away it has to be picked early and does not ripen on the plant. This will reduce its tastiness. We all know how delicious tomatoes or any produce tastes when we take it fresh from our own garden. Take advantage of this by buying local and in season.
When we buy
from local farmers markets, we support the people who live around us who had a hand in growing the produce. Often they are experts in growing what they produce and they have a wealth of wisdom. They will appreciate your support, and sometimes will give regulars their
special treats or secret gardening tips.
Sometimes buying locally can create lasting friendships. I always believe that if you feel good about the food you eat, it will taste better
and be better for you.
#4 MOTHER EARTH’S MASTER PLAN
As the seasons change, we crave different foods. There is a reason soups taste so good and nurture us in the winter. Foods that grow in the spring clean out our systems [Spring cleaning, anyone?] and prepare us for the bounty of summer with its salads, and a myriad of delicious fruits to help us hydrate and deal with the heat.
In fall and winter the foods that grow provide key nutrients to boost our immune system through the cold months. Many of the vegetables that grow then are also easier to store, which made a lot of sense hundreds of years ago, before we had fancy fridges and air conditioning.
#5 THE ENVIRONMENT AND OUR PLANET
When food has to travel there is a price to pay. Not just for you, but for the planet. Every time a truck drives across the country to deliver food somewhere that is not in season, there is a huge carbon footprint. Gasoline. The air pollution. The farther it has to go,
the worse it gets.
All in all, eating locally, and what grows in season is good for us, and can provide a culinary challenge to up-and-coming chefs. If you follow the seasons, your menu at home will constantly be changing. And, of course, if you foster relationships with the people who grow your food, your wealth of knowledge will grow also.
Lastly, if you follow the seasons, you will get in touch with our planet’s natural rhythms and discover why she gives her gifts when she does. ◆
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Depression wasn’t some outside force hounding and terrorizing me. It was part of me. And when I accepted that, it gave me more control and understanding. My choices, my reactions, and my emotions were mine.
My opportunity came when a chance meeting with a young doctor gave me the foothold I needed to create an upward spiral that undoubtedly saved my life.
And the dogs? I think of them more like the “Black Cats of Depression.” I’ve learned how to co-exist with them. They come and go as they please, I don’t provoke them, and if they curl up on my lap, they tell me I need to take a break. Then they usually want to play.
That’s where the laughter comes in.
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