Spring harvests will bring a fresh array of fruits and vegetables into our local grocery stores.
Planning your grocery lists around seasonal produce can benefit your health, save time and money, reduce your ecological impact and support local growers.
Eating in season is an excellent way to consume a variety of fresh and tasty produce. Fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak ripeness so their flavour and nutrition is maximized. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are also healthy options because they are processed right after harvesting, preserving both the flavour and nutrient content.
Shopping for seasonal produce can save you time and money. When foods are in season, they are more abundant and therefore usually sold for a lower price. Canned fruits and vegetables are cooked before packaging so they can be enjoyed in your favourite recipe right away. Frozen fruits and vegetables require less prep since they are washed and cut-up prior to freezing. Both canned and frozen foods can last a long time when stored properly so you can stock up when they are on sale. You can also preserve your own fresh produce to enjoy all year round.
Another bonus of eating in season is that it lowers the impact of food on the environment because foods in season take less energy to grow, and it doesn’t have to travel for long distances to get to your plate. Where your food comes from, how it is produced, packaged, processed and transported are all ways your food choices impact the environment.
Eating in season is often paired with shopping locally, as local markets offer produce that local farmers are currently harvesting. Supporting these local businesses benefits your community by creating jobs, boosting demand for local farmers and producers, as well as fostering a sustainable food supply that is affordable and highly nutritious. Find a local market near you.
To learn more about what foods are in season throughout the year, check out the Government of British Columbia’s BuyBC seasonal foods chart as well as these recipes ideas for creative ways to use local and seasonal foods.