We all know that eating local organic food is the best for your taste buds and for the environment, but did you know that it’s also the most healthful way to eat?
The modern food system has given us access to foods from all over the world, at all times of the year. While being connected to the food cultures of the wider world undoubtedly enriches our lives, it’s also important to consider the ways in which our lives and health are improved by eating local seasonal food as much as possible.
Picked at peak: In order to ship a tomato from Mexico to Canada and have it arrive in any condition other than a squished mess is to pick them before they are ripe and have them ripen en route. It has been shown that vine ripened tomatoes have significantly higher levels of vitamins and minerals, meaning that those winter tomatoes aren’t only less delicious, but they are also less nutritious.1
Encourages a varied diet: It is nigh on impossible to tell what season it is outside when you walk into a modern supermarket. The same selection of fruits and vegetables are available all year round, regardless of whether the sun is high in the sky, or the ground is blanketed in snow. This makes it so easy to fall into the habit of choosing the same foods week after week, and despite the limitless choices that are available, simply eating the same foods day after day. Choosing to eat with the seasons encourages you to eat a wide selection of foods, depending on what is available at that time of year.
Connects us to the wisdom of nature: Have you ever noticed the differences between the fruits and vegetables that are available at different times of the year? Spring vegetables are bright and green, bursting with energy and chlorophyll. Summer brings us juicy fruits and vegetables that aid in hydration while we bask under the summer sun. As the temperatures cool and autumn and winter set in, our bodies crave warm, dense foods like potatoes, cabbage, and carrots that help to fortify us for the cold. And so the cycle continues on, over and over. There is a connection between what our bodies need and what the earth offers that has been developed over millennia. Maybe you’ve noticed that your food cravings change over the year? This is the wisdom of nature.
Eating seasonally is possible here in Ottawa, even in the depths of winter. Vegetables that can be stored for a longer period of time are the mainstays of a colder climate diet, and with new and innovative recipes you can enjoy these tried and true veggies all winter long without the fear of boredom. We’ll continue to bring you recipes throughout the winter, filled with the best seasonal vegetables we have to offer.