Each season, farmers tend to have a surplus of produce, which causes prices to go down, as most would rather sell than have the food go to waste.1 When purchasing locally sourced in-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs at farmers markets, for example, travel and storage charges aren’t added to the cost of the produce. Conversely, when produce is sold out of season, it means the fruits and vegetables were collected from another region of the country or world, where it’s stored for a period of time and then shipped, adding to the price.
It’s more nutritious.
Indeed, enjoying produce while it is in season and within a close radius keeps the nutritional integrity of the fruit or vegetable intact—the fresher, the better. Antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs lose their potency when stored for weeks at a time. Additionally, preservatives and wax coatings are sometimes added to produce to enhance the shelf life.1
It has less chance of contamination.
In addition to preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides are typically added to produce from other 2 locations, according to the exporting country’s regulations. Contamination tests that keep tract of the quality of soil and land might not be modulated as well in other countries. According to the Pesticide Action Network, these additives could negatively impact health (e.g., potentially lead to an increased risk of cancer or impede neurological development in children).3 Farmers who sell their produce locally typically do not use harmful chemicals on their crops. Regardless, always wash your produce!
It’s better for the environment (and local businesses).
For the same reasons it is cheaper, in-season produce is better for the planet. Less energy is utilized to transport and store fresh fruits and vegetables from local sources.4 And buying local supports the business of your neighborhood farmers, including the local vendors who service them.
It tastes better. Arguably the fresh taste is the most important reason to buy locally sourced, in-season produce. Locally sourced, in-season produce are picked in the prime of their harvest cycle for eager tastebuds. Once they’re plucked, they are quickly sold for consumption.
1. Michael D. Five benefits of eating seasonal produce. 15 Mar 2018. Mount Nittany Health site. Life and Health. https://www.mountnittany. org/articles/five-benefits-of-eating-seasonal-produce. Accessed 30 Sept 2020.
2. Ahmed M. Why farmers market produce is better than organic. Spoon University site. Lifestyle. https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/why- farmers-market-produce-is-better-than-organic. Accessed 30 Sept 2020.
3. Pesticide Action Network site. Pesticides 101. https://www.panna.org/pesticides-big-picture/pesticides-101. Accessed 30 Sept 2020.
4. Djuhar E. These 9 companies are Proof that food waste can be edible and profitable. Spoon University site. Lifestyle. https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/food-waste-companies-prove-edible-profitable. Accessed 30 Sept 2020.
5. Morrison E. The benefits of eating seasonal produce and our favorite spring fruits and vegetables. 27 Feb 2019. https://deliciouslyplated.com/food-articles/the-benefits-of-eating-seasonal-produce/. Deliciously Plated Food Articles. Accessed 30 Sept 2020.