There seems to be controversy about what we are eating and where our food comes from. Although it may not always be possible, we believe it is best to eat produce that is local, and in-season whenever possible.
This isn’t just a trend. There are genuine health reasons as to why we should all be increasing the volume of fresh local produce that we consume. Here are a few reasons why you should be eating locally and seasonally:
Nutrients that pack a punch
Firstly, you will grow a strong appreciation for fresh produce. Nothing tastes as good as a freshly picked piece of fruit. And you’ll also benefit from the freshest nutrients. Ripe fruits harvested in season produce the highest levels of nutrients. When produce is stored for transportation, these nutrient levels decrease.
We like to know what’s in our food
Knowledge is power and knowing where our food comes from increases our awareness of what we are putting into our bodies. When our produce is grown overseas, we can’t be sure what regulations the country of origin has in terms of soil contaminants. Australian soil is regularly tested for metal and toxic contaminant concentrations. Also, when produce has to be shipped overseas, chemicals are typically used to preserve the food to allow for the long transportation period.
Natural support for seasonal illnesses
Have you ever noticed how citrus fruits ripen in the winter or how stone fruits are ready for harvest in summer? These foods provide us with the nutrients that are beneficial to us during these seasons. Citruses are packed with vitamin C, which helps support our immune system to fight off colds and flu. During summer, stone fruits such as peaches and mangoes contain large doses of beta-carotenes and other carotenoids. These help protect our skin from sun damage and contain higher sugar quantities for an energy boost to help us through the long, hot days.
Broader variety of foods into our diet
Seasonal eating helps us to inject variety into our diets. When cooking with local produce, we don’t get caught in the rut of eating the same food time and time again. This allows us to inject a variety of nutrients into our bodies, to support our overall health and well being!
When you really try your best to eat seasonally, it requires greater effort. You’ll need to cook more, which will provide you with a better understanding of what’s in your food. You’ll get to control which oils you use, the volume of salt and sugar in your food along with all ingredients.
Clearly there are many benefits to eating fresh, local produce. Check out Seasonal Food Guide Australia to learn what foods are in season for you. Then head down to your local farmers market and get creative with your cooking. Your body will love you for it!