From field to fork: Eat for seasonal success!

Food June 11 2015

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We all know that eating whole foods in their natural state, in particular fruits and vegetables, is key for health and wellbeing.

What we may not be as aware of, is what we should be eating and when, in accordance to seasonal availability. Globalisation, while fantastic for other aspects of our life, has left us out of touch with our food supplies and the natural availability of fruits and vegetables based on the season. We’ve become accustomed to being able to find a nectarine in winter, but a closer look at the sticker will tell you it’s been flown in from California, or that the lime you’ve chosen is actually from Mexico.

There’s myriad of reasons why eating locally and seasonally is best for not only our health, but the planet’s.

  • Eating locally reduces the carbon footprint of the food reaching its end destination. Australia imports out of season produce from a variety of northern hemisphere countries, most popular being the USA, Mexico and South East Asia, which require long haul airplane journeys.
  • Eating locally also supports local farmers and suppliers – you can be happy in knowing you’re contributing to the local economy while receiving the freshest in season produce, most likely picked that morning or only the day before! You can find your local Farmer’s Market here, thanks to the Australian Farmer’s Markets Association.
  • Reduce your field to fork time! Eating fruit and vegetables as close to their freshest state is best for maintaining their nutritional value. You can imagine that by the time fruit has been picked, packed and put on a plane for customs inspection, distribution to local supermarkets and on shelf, considerable time has passed and the nutrient density has dropped. This is primarily due to produce continuing to ‘breathe’ after being harvested, and this respiration is what leads to the breakdown of its organic materials – leading to a loss of nutrients. Some vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus have a very high respiration rate and will loose flavour and nutrients quickly.

So, what’s in season for winter? Seasonal Food Guide is a fantastic resource that drills down on what’s in season based on each state of Australia, as well as providing a guide of farmer’s markets within your area to visit.

Check out what’s in season in your area, and your body and the planet will thank you!