It wasn’t that many years ago that you could hear “it’s out of season’ in your a supermarket. But in recent years it’s become less and less common. Farming techniques, climate change, the cost and speed of international shipping, and scientific advances have all combined to give us seasonal fruits like strawberries all year round. This is very convenient, but it isn’t natural.
The Tasty Benefits
Seasonal eating is exactly what you expect it to be: eating the types of fruits and vegetables grown during a specific season. The benefits are equally obvious. The produce is often tastier and cheaper because it doesn’t need to be grown in artificial conditions or shipped from across the world. In-season produce is also more likely to be organic, grown without chemicals to deter pests or treat soil for unnatural weather conditions. There is even the added bonus that you’ll likely be helping the environment and supporting local businesses — bananas won’t need to be flown to you from Brazil– they’ll be from the farm down the road.
Autumn Seasonal Eating
So if you decide to give seasonal eating a try this fall, what produce can you expect to see at your local farmers’ market or grocery store?
The fall harvest brings apples, pears, persimmons, broccoli, kale and brussel sprouts. Autumn is generally when seed fruit goes dormant and more nutrient-rich varieties are available. You’ll also notice a slight color change from summer fare. Gone are the light summer colors, replaced with darker, deeper, colors like orange, red and purple.
As with summer eating, it’s important to vary your vegetable diet. Try to tick off as many colors as you can as the season goes on. With all diets, balance is key to ensure you’re getting the right amount of nutrition. Different colored fruits and vegetables contain different vitamins, minerals, and levels of fiber.
Cooler Temps & Less Daylight Hours
Fall will probably lead to changes in your lifestyle, so try to reflect that in your diet. As the days get shorter and colder, it’s only natural you’ll be spending less time outside. Which in turn probably means you’ll be less active. Try and balance that, if you can’t get out and about, by eating less or eating more healthily. Especially with Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon!
According to Riska Platt, M.S., R.,D., a nutritionist at Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and a volunteer with the American Heart Association, apples may be the secret ingredient to autumn weight control. Riska says “Apples are thought to have a unique source of fiber that is excellent for weight control. This is great during the fall, because this is when they are harvested and why they’re so crisp and delicious right now.”
The easiest way to find seasonal fruit and veggies is to go to your local farmers markets and smaller grocery stores. Sourcing your produce locally is the best way to guarantee you’re taking advantage of Autumn seasonal eating.
We’re looking forward to our pumpkin pie already!