All of us are making an effort to eat healthier by eating less packaged foods and substituting them with fresh foods and organic whenever possible. And with modern grocery stores we can get almost any vegetable or fruit anytime of the year. Apples in February and asparagus in September. How awesome is that! But, yes there’s a but, how fresh and how nutritious are these fruits and vegetables that we buy out of season?
Controlled Atmospheric (CA) storage methods and global transportation have allowed us the pleasure of eating exotic food stuff and ‘out-of-season’ produce year-round, but that comes at a cost. Nutritionally, produce begins to lose its vitamin potency the longer it is stored. For long transportation and storage periods, produce is harvested before it is ripe, further reducing its nutritional value.
The fresher the produce the fuller its nutritional offering. That being said we should all have a garden and eat only fresh picked produce. Okay that’s not practical, especially in Nevada. The next best option are farmer’s markets, produce is usually only a few days old and still nutritionally packed. And the third option is to eat seasonal produce. Eating seasonal produce simply means consuming produce that is actively being harvested or at the peak of their growing season. Living next door to California and Arizona gives us a wide variety of produce that we can eat most of the year that is only a few days old.
By choosing to eat seasonal products you reduce the carbon footprint of shipping out-of-season products from places like South America, Australia or Spain. You will also reduce the carbon footprint of long-term refrigerated food storage.