Bada boom bada bing, spring is here. As we begin to refresh our seasonal wardrobe and skincare routines, should we be changing up our grocery list too?
The short answer is yes!
We’ve gotten pretty accustomed to the fact that we can enjoy strawberries in the middle of December or avocados year-round. But have you ever stopped to consider when and where produce is actually grown? How far it has to travel to get to the store? What measures are taken to maintain some level of “freshness”?
The ancient Ayurveda practice of Ritucharya has long taught the importance of eating with the seasons for our physical health, but the benefits don’t stop there. Eating fresh produce that’s actually in season around us, either from a traditional store, CSA subscription, or local farmers market, is something we should aim to do for so many reasons. Let’s get into them.
Fruits and vegetables grown and consumed in season are at peak nutritional value. When produce is picked at its ripest point, the vitamin and mineral density such as vitamin C and folate is highest. The longer fruits and vegetables sit on the shelves or in transit, the less vitamin content they maintain.
It’s better for the environment
Simply put, fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and in season don’t have to travel as far of a distance to be sold. That means significantly less harmful truck and plane emissions being released into the environment. Not to mention, produce that has come a long way is more likely to be sprayed with harmful pesticides or preservatives to keep that just-picked glow.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be super expensive. Sourcing local and seasonal ingredients is actually easier on our wallets, since there is a larger supply available and therefore can be sold at lower prices. Eating with the seasons is a great strategy to eat healthier while consciously spending money.
So, what’s actually in season right now? Although it’s entirely dependent on where you are, in general, keep an eye out for foods like asparagus, garlic, kale, onions, peas, and radishes this spring.