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Show Your Compassion – Eat Seasonally!

You may not have realized it, but eating compassionately includes eating seasonally. It’s not just that everything tastes better in the season nature intended us to eat it, but there are some really important reasons to consider this approach in how you shop and plan your meals.

1.  If you eat what’s in season, logic would have it that you’re eating food grown closer to home. Why does that matter? It matters to you, since foods start to lose freshness and nutrients to moment they are picked. Let’s assume that you live on the east cost, eating lettuce from a local farm that was picked today is likely better for you than eating lettuce grown in California and stuffed in a plastic bag and shipped across the country, arriving on your grocer’s shelf a week or more later. In addition, transporting produce sometimes requires irradiation (zapping the produce with a burst of radiation to kill germs) and preservatives (such as wax) to protect the produce which is subsequently refrigerated during the trip. Ever compare a store-bought tomato in November (a creepy shade of pale pink, dry and mealy on the inside) to one bought at your local farmer’s market in July after it was just picked after ripening naturally in the sun? Hello? ‘Nuff said?

2.  The environmental impact of shipping food from one side of the country – or from other countries around the world is serious stuff.  The price we’re paying isn’t tallied up at the check out counter. Pollution, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide, is increasingly contributing to the global warming crisis. When you eat in season, you help to reduce the demand for distant produce ending up in your grocery store.

3. Speaking of costs, there’s the cost to you local economy and the future of local farms that you may not be thinking about. Wouldn’t you rather support a local farm and your local economy than help line the pockets of the faceless agribusinesses that are soaking you, the environment and its workers to increase their profit margins?

Shopping at a farmers market or at your local farm is a deeply beautiful and humbling experience. Meeting the faces that do the grueling work that puts food on tables has given me a profound respect for these folks who choose work the land so I can eat.

To find out what’s harvested seasonally in your area, go to Local Harvest to find farmers’ markets near you and seasonal produce guides. I highly encourage you to give local, seasonal eating a try it and tell me if your meal isn’t a whole lot more satisfying.




Seasonal Spotlight