Eating seasonal foods is almost impossible these days. Everything is available year-round in the grocery stores, since it's now being shipped around the world. This isn't always bad, especially when you use food for healing and need specific options. But the amount to which it's done along with the amount that generally gets wasted is appalling.
Having a fruit list and lists of vegetables like this can help you when choosing recipes for cooking in season.
There are several benefits to seasonal eating:
A great way to remember lists like these is to think about tradtional foods, such as cranberry at Thanksgiving or citrus fruits in the winter time when we need the extra vitamin C for colds.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that seasonal foods vary depending on region, meaning local foods take priority!
If you live in Southern California, Florida, South America or Australia, your options in December are far different than someone living in Michigan, Ontario or Finland.
So use these fruit lists and lists of vegetables as a guidelines, but explore your local farmer's market and ask the farmer's what you can expect year-round. They will often have great seasonal recipe ideas, too.
The seasonal foods listed below include all varieties of vegetables (roots, gourds, legumes, etc), as well as herbs, lettuces and leafy greens.
Greens, Swiss Cha.
Lettuce, Red Leaf
Lettuce, Spring Baby
|Beans, Chinese Lng
Peas, Sugar Snap
Potatoes, Yukon Gld
|Beans, Chinese Lng
Squash, Sweet Dumpling
Squash, Sweet Dumpling
You might be wondering about other seasonal foods, such as dairy, meat and eggs.
Traditionally, eggs are most "in season" during lighter times of year when the days are longest. They are still available in winter months, although will naturally decline as the days shorten. However it's a common practice for farmers to use articial light to increase egg production, although this has some controversy regarding a hen's natural cycles of fertility and rest.
In Nature, cows and goats will generally mate year-round, making dairy products available year-round. If you're buying local, the farmer's practices will vary depending on may factors, so it's best to check with them.
Traditionally, I feel we as both hunter-gatherers and as farmers would hunt or slaughter in the fall months when fresh produce was in decline to consume during the colder winter months when it could be kept easier and when fresh produce was scarcer. And I've found many of us who eat seasonally, naturally eat more animal products in the colder months than we our bodies want or could tolerate in the summer months when fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance.
Simply put, this is what those of us eating according to Nature tend to find our bodies do: Warm foods, heavier foods and root foods in the winter when our bodies need more warmth, as well as citruses when available for the vitamin C to keep us healthy, followed by salads and an increase in fruits and veggies in the spring, almost completely plant-based foods in the summer with a slow transition back into the colder months.
We're extremely proud to present to you the Sustainable Baby Steps guides, helping you delve into the topic of making organic food affordable and simple with easy-to-digest, step-by-step information, inspiration, and tools to help you live green and healthy. Check out the following guides to see which might support you.
Seasonal foods are just one aspect of healthy and sustainable living.
When you're ready for a few more steps check out the articles below.
Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!
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