Delicious nutrient-dense food is close to the heart for our community manager and resident health guru, Abi Ferro. She's put together her thoughts on being mindful of the produce we select based on what's in season.
How many seasons are there?
There are really six seasons when it comes to cycles of produce: spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, fall and winter. This means that each of these times yield different produce at the peak of their nutritional benefits. The easiest way to keep track of what’s in season is the local markets and farm stands.
What’s up with imported produce?
To start, food in season is much fresher, tastier and more nutritious than out of season produce imported from all over the globe.
When produce is grown out of season, it falls out of natural growing and ripening rhythms oftentimes because the produce is picked too early. Instead when produce is shipped globally, they choose to use ripening agents like ethylene oxide to spray on produce before it hits the shelves in stores. Edible films are also coated on produce (that is traveling) to prevent moisture and microbial growth.
This is done all in the name of “shelf life.”
Farmer’s market is the way to go.
Buying locally grown produce from farmer’s markets is one of the best ways to eat seasonally as well as stay sustainable. You avoid chemical filled produce that traveled thousands of miles to make it to the shelves, plus you get to support local farmers. Not only that but food in season is cheaper- since there is abundance- and it's more nutritious, so more bang for the buck.
So what’s in season right now?
Summer is the time for:
Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
Stone Fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, apricots)
Watermelon (and other melons)
A great resource is “Six Seasons” cookbook by Joshua McFadden, that breaks down recipes by produce and season!