Feb 26, 2013
Tis the Season to Eat
By Lorri Marra
Modern day conveniences have potentially dominated any awareness that seasons exist with the food we eat. If we want apples, apples are there. If they aren’t in season, they are likely frozen in some warehouse waiting to be loaded up on a plane and flown to wherever they are demanded. We can have whatever we want, whenever we want it. But is that a good thing?
Eating with the seasons is beneficial for us as consumers and our environment. Here are some reasons to start paying attention to what’s in season:
- Environmental Impact: The further away the food we consume comes from, the greater the impact to our environment. Additionally, growing out of season could require the need for an increase of pesticide use or Genetic Modification to support growth in certain climates.
- Cost savings: Cost of food increases when it comes from a further distance. Supply and demand also lowers the cost of food, therefore, when citrus is in season during the winter months, the cost is lower.
- Community: Shop local! There are farmers markets well-located throughout the valley. Go HERE for a list of them. Support the local agriculture and economy. Plus it’s fun! Get outside, walk around, meet new people, and talk directly to the farmers growing the food you and your family are going to eat.
- Quality & Nutrition: The less time it takes for food to get from farm to table the better it tastes and the more nutrients it has.
- Overall Wellness: Seasonal foods support our body’s needs. In the summer, fruits, berries, cucumbers, watermelons support hydration and help us cool down. In the spring we see lots of leafy greens which support detox and alkalize our body.
As a community we should be more conscious about the impact our actions have on the environment. One way to do that is by paying attention to where our food comes from. It’s a win-win situation because while we’re ultimately doing something for the future of our environment, eating seasonally provisions our body’s requirements.
My favorite reason to eat with the seasons is for variety! Waiting for the time of year when your favorite fruits and veggies are in season makes eating them that much more enjoyable. For example, watermelon is in season during the summer. If you wait to dive into a juicy watermelon until then, it’s likely your palate will be way more satisfied than if you could get your hands on it at any time of year.
Here’s what’s in season in Arizona for March. See if you can’t change your menu and shopping list to support eating with the season. Try something new! And stay tuned for a recipe or two next week using some of March’s in season produce listed below!
Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli raab, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac/celery root, Clementines, Garlic, Grapefruit, Green onion/scallions, Greens, Herbs, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lemons, Lettuce, Oranges, Parsnips, Radishes, Rutabagas, Spinach, Strawberries, Sweet potatoes, Tangerines, Turnips, Zucchini Blossoms.