Nutrition Tips - Seasonal Produce Advantages



Did you know that lemons are currently in season?  Or that avocadoes are currently excellent eating?  We have become so conditioned to lemons, avocadoes, apples and any fruit or vegetable we desire being available when we desire them, that we rarely think of fruit and vegetables as being seasonal.  But, are we doing ourselves a disservice by demanding our favourite fruits and vegetables to be available year-round?

In many countries, fruit, vegetables, fish, herbs and even grains are only available in season.  Does this limit their food variety?  Most would argue that it actually increases variety as the chef then plans the meal around the produce to make for the best eating.  It also means that produce is eaten at its peak, when vitamins and minerals are plentiful and taste is optimal.

Having recently traveled through Turkey, I have a new appreciation of seasonal eating.  I have never tasted tomatoes so flavourful, peaches so juicy and apples so crunchy.  Restaurants will only serve fish that is in season, with a platter of fresh fish presenting for viewing before being cooked to your liking.  Turks would not dream of eating peaches in winter or cherries in summer, but in Australia we now see almost year-round stone fruit.  Have you noticed that tomatoes are no longer as red or flavourful, peaches are floury and apples not so crunchy?

Why do we have out of season produce?  Some out of our season produce is imported from the Northern Hemisphere, some is stored for months or years and ripened as required and some has been propagated to extend its shelf-life.

Is eating out of season dangerous?
  No, it’s not harmful, except to a discerning taste-bud!

Does eating out of season decrease the nutrition content?  Yes, but only to a small degree.

How can I eat more seasonally?  Check out for what’s in season, good eating and where to find a local seasonal produce retailer.  Try your local fruit and vegetable market and buy what’s on special and in abundant supply.  Ask your fruit & vegetable retailer for “what’s good eating this week” and base your meals and snacks on what is in season rather than what you always have.  Or grow your own fruit and vegetables!

Is it that important?  It’s a matter of personal preference!  If you enjoy the experience of eating tasty food, which is satisfying, then having quality produce that tastes as it should, then seasonal produce should be of high importance!