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Five Reasons to Eat Seasonally

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.  In honor of Earth Month, let’s chat seasonality.  Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  This verse is not simply FYI, but a directive, a strategy and WAY to LIFE – a way by which everything was created, exists, and holds together.

There is something quite comforting and stress-free knowing and living in the seasons of God, trusting that things are what they are for a reason.  It’s freeing being able to live in balance with our surroundings instead of constantly coming against and living in conflict with the way of God. Embracing the rhythm of God and the natural rhythm of things helps us to simplify our lives.  There is a harmony that results in our lives when we live this way.  The earth understands this and springs forth unique seeds in varying seasons – and for good reason!  Here are five good reasons for eating seasonally and following the rhythm of God when it comes to what’s on your plate.

Seasonal Foods are Full of Flavor

Seasonal foods are picked at their peak – ripe and fully developed.  These plants are allowed to ripen fully under the sun for optimal flavor.  When produce is picked when it’s fully ripened, it is crispy, fragrant, juicy, and full of color and flavor.

Seasonal Foods are Full of Nutrition

Produce gets their nourishment from the sun and the soil. When a plant has had more sun exposure, it has higher levels of antioxidants.  When foods are picked in other countries or counties and shipped, they are normally picked before they are at their peak – they ripen as they go! Skipping the travel, transportation, and storage helps food reach your plate with the most nutrients possible. This is because the early harvesting, transportation, and the time it takes the foods to actually be purchased from the store considerably decreases the nutritional content of the food. This is also one of the reasons why I am such a strong proponent for farmer’s markets and CSAs.

Seasonal Foods Support Your Seasonal Needs

The natural cycle of produce is designed to also support our health.  Spring offers us an abundance of leafy greens to help alkaline and detox our bodies from a winter full of heavier foods.  In the summer, the earth produces beautiful fruits, berries, cucumbers, and melons to help us to cool down and stay hydrated.

Eating seasonally also brings variety and diversity to our plates.  Diversifying our plates keeps our bodies healthy.  By changing your menu according to what’s in season, you are less likely to develop food intolerances.  A lifestyle built around seasonal foods facilitates the body’s resilience and natural healing processes.

Seasonal Foods are Cost Effective

It’s simple economics – supply and demand.  When there is an abundance of produce, prices go down.  We also use up a lot of energy transporting and importing foods around the world, which ends up costing us at the register.  When food is in season, its normally less expensive and easier to find. Keep your pockets fat and your plate full.

Seasonal Eating Helps the Planet

In the beginning, produce was grown without pesticides and without being genetically modified.  Seasonal produce CAN grow without too much added human assistance.

“And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.”  And it was so.  The earth brought forth vegetation plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1: 11-12)

 God created the vegetation and sustains it in a delicate ecosystem that experiences cycles and seasons.  When we add things like pesticides and genetically modified substances to the ground, we contaminate the water and soil, disrupting the delicate balance and injecting toxic compounds into the earth and, in turn, into our bodies. This greatly impacts our health in a negative way.

Seasonal foods are more likely to be locally produced as well – they are grown locally, harvested locally, and don’t have to go far to get to you.  When you choose to shop local, you reduce your overall carbon footprint and, by reducing “food mileage,” you also reduce the toxic load on the environment.

Shopping and eating seasonally really is a win-win, for both our health and the health of our environment.