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Is It Better to Eat Seasonal Produce?

Eating fresh local produce is a great idea. But there's no reason to avoid fruits and vegetables because they aren't in season.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
Episode #400

Will Eating in Season Save You Money?

You’d think that eating in season would also be cheaper, seeing as you would reduce the overhead costs associated with storage and transport of the produce. However, this is not always the case. Small farms don’t have anywhere near the economy of scale that big operations do. So that local, fresh-picked peach may well cost you more than the frozen peaches at the grocery store. Not that it wouldn’t be worth every penny. I’m just saying that the idea that buying only local, seasonal produce will save you tons of money is a kind of romantic notion.

And finally, if eating with the seasons played any role in your friend's weight loss, it can only be because trying to follow this rule limited his options so much that he ended up eating less. But whether your goal is to lose weight or simply to improve your nutrition, I can’t see any value in a rule that causes you to eat fewer vegetables!

The Bottom Line on Eating with the Seasons

I think it’s a great idea to buy as much local, seasonal produce as you can find (and afford). It’s fun to enjoy different fruits and vegetables as they come in and out of season. But I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to round your choices out as needed with frozen produce or any fresh produce that looks fresh, appealing, and is a good value—no matter where or when it was grown. And I wouldn’t avoid a fruit or vegetable simply for the sake of eating with the seasons.

Do you eat with the seasons? Let me know in the comments below or on the Nutrition Diva Facebook page.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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