Eating apricots in summer and cooking pumpkins in winter – that’s what we call ” eating in season “! Locally harvested, ripe, unmodified produce that hasn’t traveled has many advantages. Better for your health and your wallet, choosing seasonal foods should be a reflex for everyone. In addition to fruit and vegetables, our seafood and fish market stalls also feature a range of seasonal varieties. Why choose seasonal produce? We’ll enlighten you!
What does it mean to eat in season?
The expression “eating in season” means consuming a product that is naturally available at a certain time of year, in a defined production area. In fact, seasonal fruits and vegetables are not the same depending on where they are grown. For example, a fruit in season in South Africa may not be in season in Northern Europe, due to the vast differences in climate.
Fruits and vegetables in season
To be considered “seasonal”, a food must have a classic development cycle that has not been modified by man. These products are therefore consumed when they mature independently, in their natural environment.
☀️ In France, for example, we have many fruits and vegetables available in summer:
- 🍈 Pears, watermelons, peaches, strawberries, blackcurrants, apricots, blackberries, melons, cherries, blueberries, nectarines, apples, plums, grapes, figs, mirabelles, redcurrants, …
- 🥕 Aubergines, shallots, beets, chard, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchinis, celery, spinach, fennel, green beans, turnips, peppers, …
❄️ Similarly, in winter in France, it’s possible to eat seasonal foods. In winter, you’ll find :
- 🍊 lemons, clementines, bananas, kiwis, pomelos, pears, oranges, apples, mandarins, …
- 🥔 cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, endive, turnip, onion, parsnip, leek, potato, pumpkin, squash, Jerusalem artichoke, lamb’s lettuce, …
Seafood and seasonal fish
To eat seafood and fish in season, it’s important to ask your fishmonger for advice, and to buy fresh produce first.
In winter, you’ll find periwinkles, whelks, scallops, shrimps, crayfish, oysters and langoustines for seafood. As for fish, your dealer will offer you hake, mackerel, sardines, pike, whiting, haddock, herring, gilthead bream and carp.
In summer, you can enjoy shrimp, crayfish, lobster, langoustines, gambas and more, as well as brill, monkfish, saithe, sea bass, whiting, dogfish, etc., right on the beach.
What are the advantages of eating seasonal foods?
Better for your health
Eating in season is a way of life that brings many benefits. For starters, it’s better for your health! In fact, food grown and produced in its natural environment is richer in nutrients. What’s more, seasonal foods provide us with the nutrients we need at the right time. For example, winter vegetables provide the carbohydrates needed to warm up on cold December days, while summer fruits are bursting with water and a source of vitamin C.
Better for the planet
Eating seasonal produce is good for the planet! In fact, by giving priority to local crops and production, many goods shipments can be avoided. So, by considerably reducing purchases of products from the other side of the world, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, and nature thanks us!
Better for the palate
Eating in season means enjoying food that tastes good! Taking fruit and vegetables as an example, when they are grown and picked in their natural environment, they benefit from optimal conditions for ripening to perfection and generosity. Sun, water and climate in general mean that food grows better and tastes better when it’s grown locally and at the right time of year.
Better for the wallet
Local and seasonal products are always cheaper! This is because they have not been processed or transported (airplanes are expensive!). What’s more, when foodstuffs are imported from distant countries, they are usually stored and numerous handling stages are involved. Buying local and in-season reduces these costs, and your wallet is the better for it.
As you can see, eating in season is good for you! And all to protect your health, eat better and save money. By choosing to buy from local producers, with short, seasonal supply chains, you can be sure of consuming quality products, at the best prices and with preserved nutrients. It’s up to you to play with the seasons and why not have fun preparing the best anti-gaspi recipes, preferably using the best products of the moment!
👋 Find all our seasonal and anti-gaspi tips on our Facebook page and don’t hesitate to share your ideas and your best recipes for fighting food waste!
⏭️ Read also: The fight against waste: a review of 2022 and good resolutions for 2023.