Mother Nature is a vey clever lady. She knows what foods are best to nourish and sustain us through each season, making sure they are abundant and ripe for the picking at the time of year we need them most.
It’s no coincidence that root vegetables (like sweet potato, beetroot, carrot, swede) are plentiful in winter. They have a warming and grounding effect on our bodies. They improve circulation, energy and clarity too. We could all do with a bit of that in the cooler months, couldn’t we?
In summer, on the other hand, when we need hydration and energy to keep us going through the warmer weather, fruits and vegetables with high water content are bountiful. Genius, hey?
If that’s not quite enough to convince you, here are 6 very good reasons we ought to pay attention to Mother Nature’s intuition:
- Optimum nourishment
The nutritional value of produce that is in season is higher than that of food that isn’t.
- Make your taste buds happy
Just like nutrient value, produce tastes best when it is in season. Big fresh ripe juicy tomatoes grown in summer when the sun is shining are a fine example of this.
- Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals
Foods grown out of season need more human intervention (i.e. pesticides, genetic modification) to grow.
- Support the local food movement
When we eat with the rhythm of the seasons we support local farmers. Getting to know your grocer and where the produce you are buying is sourced is a great way of building our connection to our food, support for local farmers, and our sense of community.
Reduce food miles and support the environment
When we buy food out of season, it’s more than likely that it has travelled a long way to get to us. We see pomegranates appear in many summer recipes and menus, when in fact they are only in season between March and June in Australia. When we buy them out of season, it is more than likely they have travelled from the US. That’s a lot of food miles, isn’t it!
- Spare your hip pocket
As the rules of supply and demand go, foods that are in season are cheaper than those that aren’t.
Next time you go to the market, rather than write a shopping list for your fruit and vegetables, why not go with an open mind? Pick what is plentiful and looking ripe and let the creative juices flow as you experiment with different ways to cook them.
I’d love to hear how you go.
This article was originally published in Accenture Australia & New Zealand’s employee e-newsletter, ‘The Greater You.