As a society, we no longer eat seasonally. Why? Truth is, we can go to the grocery store and get strawberries in the middle of December. We can eat avo on toast for breakfast every day if we want to.
Even if you don’t have the means to grow a garden, knowing what is in season and eating to match that, is still important. Eating seasonally also has some pretty sweet benefits:
- One clear benefit is the taste. Seasonal foods typically taste better. Mass-produced food intended to meet global consumer demand tends to suffer from a lack of flavour. It’s a typical case of quantity over quality.
- Secondly, foods that are produced in season are better for the environment. Simply put, it reduces the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate.
- Perhaps the most tangible benefit of eating locally and seasonally is that you’ll save money. Buying in season means buying at the peak of supply which means it costs farmers, and you, less.
- Last but not least, eating seasonally is healthier. Foods travelling fewer km will lose fewer nutrients and therefore provide greater freshness, flavour and health benefits.
In this blog post, we’ll provide some ideas to help inspire you to eat seasonally and what goods to look out for in each season.
Eat seasonal in 4 easy steps
- Head to your local farmer’s market to check out all of the seasonal vegetables and fruit directly from local farmers and suppliers.
- Look for restaurants that are committed to seasonal, local produce in their recipes and take inspiration from them for your home cooking!
- If you’re buying produce online or from meal kits, check where it comes from. If it’s local, it’s more likely to be fresh and seasonal.
- Consider joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) organization which will provide you a share of the crop at a local farm that you’ll pick up each week. It takes the guesswork out of eating seasonally and creates opportunities to try out new fruit and vegetables you wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.
What’s in season?
As Canadians, we have a plethora of seasonal produce at our fingertips throughout the year. Knowing what and when to buy seasonally empowers home cooks with the freshest local flavours. Whether you are looking to support local or make food shopping a breeze all year round, grab your tote bags and get shopping!
In season fruit at this time includes rhubarb and strawberries which run from May through July. Seasonal vegetables include cabbage, carrots, chard, cucumbers, hardy greens, kale, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, to name just a few.
British Columbia is one of the largest highbush blueberry-growing regions in the world, with Canada the third top producing country.
Sunny July and August bring cherries and raspberries ripened to perfection. Vegetables are aplenty during this season as it’s the perfect temperature for artichokes, beans, beets, corn, lettuce/salad Greens, and squash.
Fall brings warm days and cooler nights and the last chance to get many of the vegetables that peak in the summer months, like tomatoes and corn. Root vegetables such as beets and carrots sweeten up in this season with a touch of frost.
Don’t forget to look out for those fresh cranberries in time for Thanksgiving
Winter is called the shoulder season – the cold months after the fall harvest and before the new planting season in spring. You may worry that there’s little fresh produce around this time of year but during winter comes hardy and root vegetables including broccoli, arugula, bok choy, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, and rutabagas.
Go seasonal: Your planet – and wallet – will thank you.
Take the chill off these months with warming soups and stews.