The Benefits of Eating Seasonal Produce

Seasonal Produce in Texas
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Each fruit and vegetable has an optimal time of the year during which it grows the heartiest, tastiest, and most nutritious (ex. corn is grown in the summer, carrots are grown in the winter). For that reason we correlate certain crops to certain seasons. Eating with the seasons is not as commonplace as it was before food merchants started transporting fresh food across state lines, country borders, and oceans. However, if you choose to eat seasonally – eating food produced locally during the ideal growing season for that fruit or vegetable – you can reap multiple benefits. Here are just a few:   1. Seasonal produce tastes better and contains more nutrients. By growing fruits and vegetables during their optimal seasons, produce arrives to local grocery stores with maximum flavor, juicy textures, and the highest nutrient levels. If you see tomatoes at the grocery store during the winter, they might have been preserved with waxes or chemicals to make them seem bright red and plump. Even worse, they have most likely lost many nutrients if they were shipped from another country. However, if you buy tomatoes in the summer, they will taste sweet, contain maximum nutrients levels, and be preservative free.   2. Seasonal produce encourages sustainable practices. When fruits and vegetables are grown during their preferred season, they require fewer chemicals to keep them healthy (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides) and less water to keep them hydrated. Energy savings occur too, since farmers use less of it to plant, harvest, and transport them for local sales.   3. Seasonal produce saves you money and supports the local economy. When farmers use fewer inputs to grow produce in season, you don’t have to pay as much. Even better, by purchasing local, seasonal produce, you can support farmers in/near your community and boost the local economy.   If you live in Texas, check out this Texas produce availability chart. If you live out of the state, we recommend you search for a similar chart specific to where you live.