Weight Loss Wednesday: Savor the Season
Alas, poor summer! I knew him well. There’s a new season in town, folks-Fall. Often the favorite of pumpkin latte aficionados and fall color fanatics everywhere, fall is also harvest time and is thereby chock full of beautiful, local, seasonal produce. The term ‘seasonal’ literally refers to the produce that is ripe and available in your area at any one time. Due to advances in modern agriculture and commerce, most fruits and vegetables are now available almost year round and seasonality has been largely forgotten.
However, just because a raspberry or a tomato is available in December doesn’t mean that you should eat it. Produce grown to be sold out of season is usually harvested prior to ripening to prevent damage to the otherwise soft and squishy when ripe produce, and may even be treated with preservatives to prevent spoilage while it is being shipped to its final destination. This translates to lower available nutrient values by the time the produce hits your dinner table. For example, studies have shown that spinach and green beans lose 2/3 of their vitamin C in the week after harvest. In contrast, locally grown, seasonal foods are picked closer to ideal ripeness and travel lee of a distance so don't need preservatives- two things that mean more nutrients available for you.
So, how can you get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck? Savor the season, and eat local, sustainable produce as much as you can. Farmers’ Markets are a great way to do this. Anything you see there is local and seasonal by default. Check the links below to learn where to go to shop local and seasonal in your area and what foods are ripe and ready to rock right stinking now!