Most of us shop for fruits and vegetables based solely on whatever we feel like eating. But health specialists say we should take a leaf out of our parents’ books and start shopping for produce that is in season. Back in the day, the only fruits and vegetables available were the ones that were in season; after all, they were not as likely to be imported from all over the world, leaving only the fruits and vegetables that were locally grown. Now, grocery stores carry many fruits and vegetables all year round, though they have to be imported from distant places.
But there’s wisdom to this thinking, because shopping for fruits and vegetables that are in season makes sense economically and health-wise. Spreading the word is the goal of the Eat Seasonably campaign, a British movement designed to bring awareness to the benefits of eating in-season fruits and vegetables. According to the campaign, fruits and vegetables that are in season are fresher, tastier, cheaper (usually costing a third less than produce that is not in season), and better for the environment (if a fruit or vegetable is not in season, it needs to be imported or grown in an artificial environment).
According to the Eat Seasonly guide, these are the fruits and vegetables that are typically in season each month:
January, February, and March: Carrots, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, green cabbage, and leeks
April: Kale, cauliflower, green cabbage, and cucumber
May: Cauliflower, rhubarb, asparagus, lettuce, and spinach
June: Carrots, asparagus, lettuce, strawberries, peas, beans, and courgette
July: Carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, peas, cherries, apples, raspberries, and celery
August: Carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, peas, cherries, apples, raspberries, celery, and plums
September: Leeks, lettuce, plums, blackberries, courgette, runner beans, sweet corn, squash, marrow, blueberries, and red cabbage
October: Blackberries, sweet corn, marrow, Cox apples, white and red cabbage, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts
November: Kale, potatoes, cabbage (white, red, and green), and Brussels sprouts
December: Carrots, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and white cabbage
“Calendar,” Eat Seasonably web site; http://eatseasonably.co.uk/what-to-eat-now/calendar/, last accessed March 22, 2013.
“Shopping Seasonally,” Food Network Canada web site; http://www.foodnetwork.ca/guides/eating-well/shopping-seasonally/8652/story.html, last accessed March 22, 2013.