3 good reasons to eat with the seasons

Here's why you should fill up on fresh, seasonal produce.

Written by Caitlin Saville
Pumpkins and gourds on display outdoors at farmer's market.

In an age of food delivery apps and round-the-clock service we have become accustomed to having a rainbow of fare at our fingertips. But eating produce during its off-season isn’t always the best way to fuel our bodies – nor is it helping our planet.

Here are just a few reasons to focus on fresh, seasonal food.

Good for your body

Seasonal foods have a much higher antioxidant content than non-seasonal foods. Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil.

On the flip side, off-season produce needs help to grow through the use of pesticides, preservatives and waxes. Eating in-season produce will ensure you steer clear of unwelcome chemicals as well as give your body a healthy dose of natural nutrients.

The sweetest part is, the richness of nutrients means in-season produce tastes better too. Foods that aren’t in season have probably been transported a long way or stored for a long time, so they won’t be as nutrient-dense.

"Eating seasonally helps reduce the food miles taken for produce to travel from paddock to plate."

Good for the planet

Eating seasonally helps reduce the food miles taken for produce to travel from paddock to plate. Fruit and veggies available during their off-season have often been shipped or flown in from the other side of world, leaving a carbon footprint on our planet.

Additionally, crops that are grown off-season generally require a lot more energy and water than crops natural to that season.

Good for your wallet

Shopping in-season is healthier for your wallet. Seasonal crops grown locally don’t require travel or storage expenses, making them cheaper.

Next time you’re at your local market, buy in bulk and preserve, pickle, ferment or freeze your food. Apples stewed and stored in the freezer make for a great treat when heated up in a crumble as the weather cools. Not only will you be saving costs, but you’ll have the reassurance of knowing where your food has come from.

What’s in season for autumn?

Eat reds, purples, golds and yellow – as the leaves change colour so does autumn’s bounty. Boasting a colourful array of fare, autumn’s delights include apples, beets, carrots, cabbage, figs, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes.

Orange and yellow foods contain beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that boosts your immune system, protects against free radicals, and may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Find out what's in season in your area.

Written by Caitlin Saville

Caitlin Saville lives in Melbourne and has worked in the world of books, films and opera. You can follow her on Twitter @cjaville.

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