I try to eat seasonal and local when ever I can. Trust me, it doens't happen all the time, but it's something I keep working on! I am constantly trying to figure out new tricks to make seasonal and local foods happen more often in our lives.
Did you know that seasonal produce can grow without too much added human assistance such as pesticides and genetical modification? When you choose an in-season fruit or vegetable you are more likely also getting a cleaner product. The toxic compounds used in industrial farming can contaminate the water and soil and also our health. Because seasonal food is more likely to also be locally produced it reduces the load on our environment. There is no need for cross-county transportation or so called “food mileage.” Seasonal produce is also more like to have been picked when it’s actually ripe which means it both tastes a lot better (hello summer tomatoes!) and has a higher nutritional value. Pretty cool stuff.
So, how can you go about including more local and seasonal foods?
Get In On a Local CSA
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a wonderful way to both support the local farmers in the important work that they do and guarantee a steady stream of seasonal produce for you and your family. The fun part is that you get to discover new foods that you may not have even seen before, broaden your nutrient intake and satisfy your taste buds and creativity. I love how CSA’s create communities around food that encourage us to share our knowledge, ask questions and engage in our own local environment. Check out Local Harvest to find a CSA in your area.
Frequent Your Local Farmer’s Market
Make it part of your weekend family time to go to the farmers market together. It’s such a great way for kids to see and learn about where their food comes from. Stock up on produce, eggs and local grass-fed meats from farms near where you live. Even if you live in a busy concrete jungle, visiting the farmers market can offer you some connection to the earth, the rhythm of nature and the local ecosystem that you’re a part of.
Keep in mind that although I generally recommend choosing organic whenever possible, many small family farms cannot afford to go through organic certification yet still follow very natural and healthy growing practices. So, when shopping at the farmer’s market you don’t have to be as careful about finding the “organic” produce as you are when shopping at the supermarket.
Want to know what’s in season right now, check out the directory at Sustainable Table.
Online Farm to Consumer Services
If you’re someone who prefers shopping from the comfort of your own home – there are still ways to buy seasonal foods and support local farmers! More and more online companies are offering services where you can place your order from local farms online and either have it delivered or go pick up at a local drop-off facility. Farmigo is a great option and if you’re in the Bay Area check out Good Eggs.