Why Local and In Season Produce Is Better!

Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season not only can save you money and help you do your part in supporting local businesses, it can also improve your health. Not to mention, they taste so much better!

Have you ever bit into a strawberry that looked ripe but was hard and bitter? That's likely because it was picked way too early, and placed in a temperature controlled environment designed to "ripen" it while in transit to your local grocery store. However, when the fruit or vegetable is detached from the vine or tree, it no longer gets the nutrients it needs to mature its taste. This is similar to the way our bodies change when given the right (or wrong) nutrients.

When allowed to ripen on the vine, the products takes on more vitamins and minerals as it matures. After the fruit is picked, the nutritional value declines. The longer it has been stored, the less nutrient dense it becomes (unless frozen). Vitamins A, B, C, and E all decrease steadily from the time the fruit was on the crop to the time it takes to get to your mouth. Artificial lights, such as the lights in the grocery store, speed up this decline.

In addition, seasonal produce have different benefits for the body. Spring fruits and vegetables tend to carry more nutrients that are good for energy production and skin protection, whereas winter produce is often better for boosting our immune system.

Next time you have the option to either shop at the grocery store, or enjoy browsing a local farmers market, opt for the latter. Your body will thank you!

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