There’s an unyielding perception that eating seasonally or getting fresh food from the farmer’s market is expensive – it’s often a lot cheaper (and more delicious) than you know.
Summer is upon us, and maybe you are thinking of your beach body or have started to dread the season, long after you gave up on your New Year’s resolutions. We are constantly bombarded by articles telling us to “Drink THIS…Lose weight in 3 days!” and other mixed messages that tug at our hope to get healthy quicker than quick. We’ve been conditioned to look at the calendar and pause if we don’t feel like we are keeping our health goals in check and eating healthier foods. What if we broke that cycle of thought, embraced the calendar and focused our food choices on eating seasonally?
What if we ate produce at its nutritional peak that hasn’t been trucked across the nation, only to show up at your local grocery store with a shortened shelf life in your home?
Eating seasonally can be a habit that’s extremely beneficial to your health, wallet and the local ecosystem. What if we ate produce at its nutritional peak that hasn’t been trucked across the nation, only to show up at your local grocery store with a shortened shelf life in your home? What if you could head to a farmer’s market nearby and actually speak to the farmer selling strawberries in June (which were freshly picked that morning) about the farm’s growing practices, rather than wondering why those strawberries you bought in the middle of February just don’t taste right? In my food justice and access talks across the nation, I often hear that farmer’s markets are too expensive, yet when I give the audience actual prices from their local community markets, it tends to be a positive eye-opener.
Eat in season, share the abundance and enjoy what your community has to offer, one delicious bite at a time.
Stroll by a table at your local farmer’s market and you may be surprised at how much you can get. You can stretch your dollar buying the abundance of say, roots vegetables, in New England in the fall, collards at peak harvest from January – June in Georgia, sweet cherries from Pennsylvania in June/July, live New Orleans’ crawfish (found between April-June) or black-eyed peas mid-summer in California. Seasonal produce tastes better too, and the recipes you can make with fresh vegetables, local meat, seafood or fruit can bring up some sweet memories of what our elders knew all along: eat in season, share the abundance and enjoy what your community has to offer, one delicious bite at a time.
Want to see what’s season for your region? Take a look at your region’s Harvest Calendar and see what you can enjoy locally throughout the year! Here’s an example calendar from one of my favorite farmers markets, The Nashville Farmer’s Market.
For some recipe inspiration, check out my local seafood dish from the Ocean State, Coconut Cabo Verde Kamoka Plantain Blue Fish topped with a bit of linguica on Instagram @naturalcreola.