I first started eating with the seasons a few years ago. It really just makes sense! I’m surprised it took me so long to come around to the benefits to eating with the seasons. Eating with the seasons is the healthiest, most cost effective and environmentally conscious way to eat. Here is an easy guide to eating with the seasons.
As a reminder: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be! Any claims in this article are based on my personal experience and research. Please read my full medical disclaimer before engaging with my content or anecdotes. Also, as a reminder, this post contains affiliate links to certain products and I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you make a purchase based off of my suggestions.
An Easy Guide to Eating with the Seasons
What is Eating Seasonally?
Eating seasonally simply means eating the foods that are in season. Each season there are different foods that are available and harvested. Eating along with the seasons means opting to eat the foods that are in abundance during that season. Choosing to eat seasonally is very simple! It just involves eating fruits, vegetables and other produce that naturally thrive in the current season.
An example of eating with the seasons is leaning on berries and tomatoes in the summer. Berries and tomatoes are “in season” in the summer. Another example of eating with the seasons is leaning on root veggies, squashes and apples in the autumn. Root veggies, squashes and apples are all “in season” in the autumn. The concept of seasonal eating helps us to align with nature – eating what is provided for us during that season. There are also heaps of other benefits, both for humans and the earth itself, to eating seasonally.
A Guide to Eating with the Seasons
The Importance of Eating Seasonally
I wish I knew the importance of eating seasonally earlier in my life! I believe that if I had began seasonal eating earlier in my life I may have suffered from less digestive issues and mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Seasonal foods are fresher, more nutrient dense, and subsequently more delicious than foods that are out of season. Think of the taste of tomatoes in the winter – they’re kind of bland and lackluster. However, tomatoes that are eaten in-season in summer are SO DELICIOUS and flavorful.
Benefits of Eating Seasonally
There are heaps of benefits of eating seasonally – both for our bodies and our wallet and also for the earth!
Nutritional Value: First and foremost, foods that are in season are fresher and more nutrient dense. When produce is harvested in its prime – they have higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants when compared to out of season produce.
The Nutrients Our Bodies Need in that Season: The produce that is in-season will be richer in the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants our bodies need in that season. This is one of my favorite parts of seasonal eating because it goes to show us how supportive nature is of our human bodies! For example, tomatoes and watermelon are in season in the summer. Both tomatoes and watermelon are high in lycopene – an antioxidant that protects our skin from sun damage. The sun is extra strong in the summer – so nature provides us with produce to help support us throughout the summer.
Supports Local Economy: When we buy seasonal, local produce we tend to support smaller, local farms. This keeps our money in our economy and supports our local economies. Local farmers can also tell you how the food was grown. Buying local gives us the opportunity to learn the practices that local farmers participate in to grow, harvest and store their produce.If knowledge is power then knowledge of our food sources is a super-power.
More Flavorful: When produce is in season they have a tendency to be more flavorful! Produce that is picked and harvested closest to its natural peak in ripeness can also have a natural peak in flavor. The flavorful tastes can make foods more enjoyable and satisfying.
Adds Variety into Your Diet: Eating with the seasons allows for a variety and balance in your diet. Rotating through the produce that is in season and harvested fresh provides variety in your diet. Allowing yourself to eat alongside with the seasons provides an annual balance, as well.
Less Environmental Impact: One of my favorite benefits of eating with the seasons is the benefits for the earth! Seasonal, local produce requires less transportation, refrigeration, and preservation. This means that eating with the seasons can reduce the carbon footprint our food has!
Cost Efficient: In season produce has less of a hit on our wallet, as well! When produce is in season it is, typically, abundant. This abundance leads to in season produce being more affordable. Produce that is out of season requires additional resources (special growing conditions, artificial indoor lighting, particular storage and transport resources, etc). Those additional resources drive the cost of out of season produce way up.
Deeper Connection to Nature: Being aligned with the seasons in the foods that we eat encourages a deeper connection to nature. Eating with the seasons has helped me to remind myself of the importance of respecting, appreciating, honoring and aligning with the cycles of the earth.
Learn how to work with the seasons, save time and money, and create delicious, nutritious, beautiful meals:
An Easy Guide to Eating with the Seasons
How To Eat Seasonally
Eating with the seasons is actually fairly easy! All it takes is a bit of knowledge and effort. I’m providing you with the knowledge in this article so now all you have to do is invite some effort in! Here is a practical guide to eating with the seasons:
Familiarize Yourself with Seasonal Produce: Learn which produce is in season during different times of the year in your region. You can find seasonal produce guides online!
Visit Farmers Markets: Local farmers markets are the best place to find fresh, local, seasonal produce. Farmers typically grow and sell what is in season. Visiting a local farmers market is a great way to support yourself with ripe in season produce and also support your local economy/farmers.
Plan Meals Around Seasonal Ingredients: After you familiarize yourself with the local produce that is in season in your region – you can begin to research recipes to incorporate those ingredients.
Try New Recipes!: Piggybacking off of planning your meals around seasonal ingredients, another way to eat seasonally is to try new recipes. Pinterest is one of my favorite places to research for new recipes that highlight certain ingredients that are in season. Remember to search for recipes that feature the produce that’s in season in your region!
Keep an Open Mind: When eating seasonally it’s important to keep an open mind! Sometimes certain produce becomes unavailable. Keeping an open mind can help you to be flexible and work not only with what’s in season but also what is available.
Limit Out of Season Produce: One of the simplest ways to eat with the seasons is to eliminate produce that is not in season (and is also likely imported). Especially in the U.S, it is super easy to find EVERYTHING available in stores year round. Just because it’s available in a supermarket, doesn’t mean it’s in season.
Adopt Eating with the Seasons as a Lifestyle: Eating with the seasons is not only sustainable for the planet but it’s also better for our physical and mental health. Aligning with the seasons helps us to feel connected to our ecosystem which supports our overall wellbeing! Adopting eating with the seasons as a lifestyle is one of the best ways to eat seasonally.