Have you ever gone to have dinner at a swanky restaurant, only to find out they're serving a different type of food than usual? Maybe there's no fish. Or for whatever reason, the menu has changed. “Hmph! What the fork is this!?”, you say.
Well, before you give the restaurant manager a piece of your mind, consider this: maybe it’s because there's a new type of food in season.
Never heard of seasonal food before? You’re missing out. Seriously.
Seasonal food is basically the freshest produce you can get your hands on. Grub that’s purchased and eaten at the time of year when it’s harvested.
Here are just a few reasons why we recommend eating in season. And no, we're not just saying this because it's the trendy thing to do.. (Ok, well, maybe just a little).
1. Falling in love with local food
Eating in season makes you crave what's local. After years of mindlessly shopping at the supermarket, you start to appreciate the charm of local food.
If you live in an area where food is grown, you start to notice that certain items are only available at certain times of the year. Examples could be asparagus, strawberries, sweet corn and lettuce, etc.
And when those items are finally available, you'll be dancing in the streets. You’ll relish them to the fullest, knowing they’re as fresh and nutritious as they can possibly be. Supermarket, you've been knocked off your perch.
2. Developing a more sophisticated palate
When you get used to eating produce that's in season, you pay more attention to flavor. You can taste the difference between a locally grown fruit and one that’s been shipped in from another planet.
As you bite into a locally grown apple, you’ll feel like you’re taking a bite out of summer itself. You’ll get all tingly when you see the first strawberries of spring, or the juicy melons of mid-summer. You’ll learn to love the taste of veggies you never knew existed.
And guess what? As your taste buds get more adventurous, you may find yourself venturing into new culinary territory. The world is your oyster when it comes to cooking with seasonal produce.
Check out this delicious galette recipe, for instance, made from seasonal fall produce, including herbs you can grow yourself in a Click And Grow smart garden (We had to include a shameless plug somewhere in this post, so we figured why not here?)
3. Experiencing what fresh food really tastes like
It’s simple. When you eat in season, your taste buds will be rewarded with superior-tasting food… Far superior to anything you’ll find in the produce aisle. Fresh produce doesn't travel well over long distances, so it's picked before it's ripe or picked too soon after being harvested. Not cool.
We get why it’s done (food needs to make it from farm to supermarket without spoiling, blah, blah, blah) but you deserve better, amigo.
By sticking to what’s grown locally, you'll know for a fact that everything on your plate is as fresh and tasty as it gets. Oh, and your food will be free from those nasty additives.
4. Feeling a closer connection to your local community
This is a really cool point. There’s no better way to connect with a place than through its food. Eating in season helps you connect with local traditions and gives you a sense of what it means to be part of the community. Yay! Food has always been a part of our culture, and eating in season connects us to the cycles of nature. Pure poetry.
5. Eating healthier without realizing it
Eating seasonally also makes sense from a health perspective. Well, duh! Fruits and vegetables are at their nutritional peak when they're harvested. The longer they sit around on a truck or in a warehouse before being bought by consumers, the more nutrients they lose.
It’s even worse when it's hot outside and the produce is sitting on a loading dock or in storage for weeks before reaching your table. By eating local food that’s recently been harvested, you’re getting more nutrients for your buck.
6. Supporting your local economy
Here's a fact that’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside: Eating in-season helps to support your local economy. Think about it. When you eat food that's grown locally, you're not only supporting your local farmers but also keeping them from being forced to sell their goods on the black market (just kidding).
Seriously, though. Eating out of season may seem trivial, but when you consider how many people rely on food production as their livelihood, it’s kind of a big deal.
Let’s be real. It's time to get back to the basics of eating.
We live in a fast-food, microwave culture. We're so used to eating tomatoes out of season that we forget how good they taste when they're ripe and fresh from the garden.
Eating in season makes you realize how alluring fresh food can be, especially when it's connected to the changing of the seasons.
So, why are you still reading this post? Get out there and eat local produce! (Or maybe even grow your own.) With Click And Grow it’s easier than ever.