Eating Locally & Seasonally: Your Questions Answered

Our 2021 Ontario summer sure has been rainy so far! With all of those millimetres falling, we sure are optimistic that this year’s harvest will be a bountiful one.

Did you know that the benefits of eating locally and seasonally can have a very positive impact on your nutrition and your community? Many people also don’t realize that it’s easier to eat locally and seasonally since warm weather and water make for excellent crops!

You may have a lot of questions, but your Friends @ Nature’s Emporium are here to help! 💚🙌🏼

Why should I eat locally and seasonally?

Fresh food is always better. Local food is always fresher. It’s also greener & supports your local economy.

This is because certain fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients only 24 hours after they are picked. Local food does not have to travel as far as foods that are not local, so it is fresher.

It is good to note that it also helps to reduce our carbon footprint.

It almost goes without saying that supporting local farmers and other producers will benefit your local economy as well.

Canadian-grown produce is subject to some of the strictest health & safety measures.

Canadian produce has stricter food regulations versus produce imported from other countries. Therefore, eating locally ensures that the food has passed some of the highest safety standards.

Buying and consuming local food supports the local farms and farmers and protects the farmlands from being redeveloped into something else.

Remember that farmers feed cities!

Care for seconds? Seasonal produce is more abundant.

Seasonal foods also contribute to the nutritional value of certain fruits and vegetables for similar reasons to locally grown foods. Seasonal foods are also higher in nutritional value. When plants are grown out of their season, they cannot follow their natural growing and ripening cycles. It is cheaper to consume seasonal foods since they are more abundant!

How can I eat locally and seasonally?

Becoming acquainted with which foods are in season is the first step to eating more local and seasonal foods. Often, you have to find locally-grown foods when they are in season unless they have been preserved.

Making a list of these foods to take with you when you need to shop can make this process much more manageable. Prepping for the seasons ahead of time is also a big help in eating locally and seasonally. It can also help you save money. Knowing what is in season ensures an abundance of what you need at a reasonable price.

When can I eat locally and seasonally?

Here are some examples of local crops that are produced in the different seasons:

Fall

  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Peaches 

Winter

  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes
  • Apples
  • Cabbage 

Spring

  • Rhubarb
  • Asparagus
  • Strawberries
  • Peas
  • Lettuce 

Summer

  • Raspberries
  • Peppers
  • Plums
  • Onions
  • Melons
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
  • Broccoli

Why aren’t I eating local and in season?

We can’t know the answer to everything! The list of reasons not to eat local, in-season foods is nonexistent. It saves you time looking for the foods you are searching for and saves you money! Buying local foods in bulk is a great way to ensure you will have seasonal foods to last you all year-round.

To preserve these foods, you can learn how to ferment and/or pickle them. You can also simply freeze them and defrost them when needed!

Emily D'Addario

RHN/CNP

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