Looking for a snack or something sweet after dinner? A bowl of berries, or some sliced pineapple sounds perfect, doesn't it? Satisfies that desire for something sweet and fills your body with some excellent vitamins and nutrients. Or does it? That depends, is it summer in California, or winter in London?
If it's winter in London, that could be a bad assumption. Those berries have travelled thousands of miles to arrive at your grocery store. Chances are they were picked before they were ripe, and artificially ripened at the end of their travels. Doing this allows us to have a great selection of produce to choose from around the world, regardless of the season. But in exchange, the transported produce is lower in vitamins, taste and overall quality.
Your best bet when choosing what to eat, is to look at what's in season where you are located. Consuming local produce, fruits and vegetable that are growing close by at the time you are looking to eat them, is what your body is expecting. It gives you a nice variety of foods over a twelve month period, and each bite is as packed full of good fresh stuff as it can be.
But how can you tell what to choose? Stopping by your local Farmers Market is a great first step. Here you can see what produce has been grown locally, picked recently, and brought to you by the people who nourished it during the growing period. Not sure where to find a local Farmer Market? Check out this website http://www.localharvest.org/
Local Harvest is a great tool for finding Farmers Markets, grocery stores that stock local produce, and restaurants who support local farmers.
If you are comfortable with the idea of switching your meal plans to include local seasonal produce, why not also check into available CSA's in your area? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. While each one works a bit differently, the main idea is that you sign up for a weekly box of locally grown produce directly from the grower, eliminating the middle man. You may not get to choose exactly what your box contains, but you will get fresh, locally grown, recently picked fresh produce that is in season.
More comfortable sticking with your local grocery store? That's great! You can still choose in season, locally grown foods. Locavore (getlocavore.com) is a great app that spells out what is in season where you are right now. You can also search different areas, if you will be traveling to a new location and want to explore the in season offerings when you get there.
Until quite recently, our bodies didn't have a choice, local in season produce was what it had, and we thrived on it. It created a natural balance throughout the year. Better nutrition, better tasting food. Give it a try, your body will love you for it.
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