Eating Seasonally

As consumers, many of us are often boggled when we enter the grocery store.  Whether it is the middle of December or the hottest day in July, our supermarkets and grocery stores are consistently stocked with carrots, strawberries, tomatoes, and so on. While some may find this comfort appeasing, the fact that there is no recognition of seasonal variation  in large market outlets is widely unsettling.

our grocery stores look the same in February and October

The fact that vegetables and fruits have seasons is ignored. However, I along with many, thought of course! i know that veggies and fruits are seasonal … but when exactly? Walking into a grocery store, do we know when lettuce is in it’s prime, what about eggplant, peaches, and cherries? Finding these answers, and moving towards a lifestyle of seasonal eating is an issue taken up by Barbara Kingsolver in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

As advocate for nutritious food, Kingsolver wrote that her intention for writing was to recover a “lesson our culture has lost”, to provide an understanding and explanation of food as a process rather than a product.  Understanding food as process leads to an understanding of why watermelon are late, and when to look for asparagus.

The vegetannual is a visual image to keep in mind (or print out online!) as you walk through your local Farmer’s market or grocery store. We can make mindful decisions about what produce to buy and when, in order to decrease the energy exuded on food miles, support locally grown food, and nourish our bodies.

Barbara Kingsolver's vegetannual is an easy to use explanation of seasonality

Eating seasonally enriches the flavor of our food, opens our eyes to enjoy the unique splendor of food when it’s available, and allows us to diversify our diets year-round. To understand our food as a process!.. and indulge in the tasty menus of the seasons!

As Kingsolver states, “Two generations ago, people knew such things intuitively, but now we may have to learn them from a book”.

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