The beauty of modern grocery stores and agricultural technology is that we can essentially have any type of fruit or vegetable regardless of the time of year. Hungry for a peach in January or carrots in July? The grocery store has you covered! However, there are several benefits to buying in season. Here are a few reasons why buying seasonal produce can be beneficial:
While we can find most fruits and vegetables all year round, they taste much better in season (think July watermelon vs. December watermelon). This is because they’ve been harvested at their peak ripeness when all their flavors and natural sugars have had time to develop. In-season produce often hasn’t had to travel as far to get to you either, which means it will be fresher. In contrast, many out-of-season fruits and vegetables are shipped from somewhere with a warmer climate and take longer to arrive at your local grocery store.
In-season produce tends to cost less because there’s an abundance of it. To take advantage of this, try purchasing in bulk and freezing for later. This works especially well with berries, which can be purchased when they’re on sale, washed, and frozen for a quick snack or smoothie in the months to come.
All fruits and vegetables have nutritional benefits regardless of the season. However, similar to the differences with flavor, something picked at its peak ripeness tends to be a little denser in vitamins and minerals.
When things are in season, they’re a lot easier to find. Most grocery stores place in-season produce right at the front of the store and have a lot of it.
Buying in season based on where you live is a great way to buy local. This means the food hasn’t travelled as far, so it’s taken less gas or energy to get to you.
Curious what’s in season right now? A few highlights for July in Texas include blueberries, tomatoes, and watermelon. For a list of what’s in season each month, check out the seasonality wheel from the Texas Department of Agriculture here.
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