Eating seasonably is a great way of making your diet more sustainable. Fruits and vegetables that are grown in season have a smaller environmental impact than produce grown out of season. Food grown in season requires less heating, lighting, and fewer pesticides and fertilizers. The distance your food has to travel to reach you is also smaller. If you live somewhere cold and want nectarines in February, those nectarines are going to have to travel much farther than they would in warmer months when they might be grown closer to where you live. Reducing the distance your food travels, reduces fuel needed during transport, which reduces your overall carbon footprint.
Eating seasonably can also save you money. Food that doesn’t have to travel as far tends to be cheaper. Growing food out of season also requires more time, energy, and resources, increasing the cost. When a fruit or vegetable is in season, it is more widely available, making it cheaper for consumers.
Food grown in season is an overall better value. In season produce is fresher, tastes better, and is better quality. Luckily there are many resources to help you buy in season produce. Below is an example of a seasonal food chart, showing when different types of fruit and vegetables are in season. For a more extensive list, visit the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture.
Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017
Photo by DJ Dell, PublicDomainPictures.Net