Seasonal fresh produce is picked when fully developed and ripe, which means they’ve had more sun exposure (higher levels of antioxidants) and more time to pull nutrients from the soil. Fruit and vegetables grown closer to you don’t get to spoil on long journeys in shipping containers or in cold storage.
It saves you money
When there’s an abundance of a product, such as naartjies in spring, the prices drop. Farmers would rather sell a seasonal crop for a lower price than not at all – so use the opportunity to get great fresh produce and save.
Think about a ripe and buttery avocado, or a sweet, crunchy apple! Food harvested and brought to the shelf in season ripens naturally, giving you all the flavour. Transportation and refrigeration mean that produce doesn’t ripen in the same way, and you end up with bland flavours and textures.
Seasonal crops can grow without too much interference by way of genetic modification or pesticides, which is good for the soil and water – and good for us. Also, crops raised in season are more likely to be produced by local farmers, and that means less “food mileage” by road or by sea.
It’s great to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables from farmers’ markets and local fresh produce outlets. The support helps to sustain their production, but you also get to know where your food is coming from. Everybody wins.
Cooking fresh foods
Bringing home a box filled with fresh-grown greens and fruit is bound to get you cooking. Besides being a healthier choice than processed food or take-out, preparing delicious things at home can be a fun activity for the family – get the kids involved. Seasonal buying will also get you try some new foods and variety is healthy for our bodies.
Abalimi Bezekhaya is my favorite social profit organisation who deliver local and seasonal vegetables, they also support 3000 farmers in the form of cheap bulk resources education.