Why purchase fruits and vegetables that are local and in-season?
- Taste– definitely more flavorful
- Nutrition- Higher nutritional value
- Variety- eat what is in season and you will instantly have more variety
- Supports local farmers and local economy
- Environmentally friendly
- Cost (There are many hidden cost in conventionally grown food. Examples: the cost of illness due to pesticides and the cost of clean-up efforts for polluted waterways, rivers, and lakes from contaminates used on some conventionally grown foods.)
Have you ever wondered how it is possible for apples to be available year round when their harvest season is from August-Oct/Nov? There are two reasons: the apples are shipped from the southern hemisphere or the apples come out of a warehouse where they are stored. Apples can be stored for up to 10 months before they arrive at the grocery store. If you purchase a Washington grown Gala apple in March that apple has sat in the warehouse for about 5 months.
It is up to the consumer to weigh the pros and cons of eating an apple that was picked 30 days ago and shipped from New Zealand, eating a local out of season apple that has sat in a warehouse for five months, or waiting tis the season for the apple! You? What is your preference?
Most grocery stores label their produce by country or by state; try to pick fruits and vegetables that are close to home. Produce that has travelled long distances is picked way too early and is in transit for a long time before it arrives at your local grocer.
To learn more about eating locally and in-season here is a great link, Puget Sound Fresh. Learning to eat locally and in-season is not only fun but it makes you mindful and appreciative of your food. You will naturally become more conscious of the great taste of fruits and vegetables.