Why we eat what we eat – Part of the benefit of buying more locally grown food is that we are enjoying produce in season. It tastes better, and it’s more natural. Tomatoes in March were picked thousands of miles away, before they were ripe. A true conversation between some of my friends illustrated how out-of-touch we have become to the natural seasons of food.
Friend 1: I bought strawberries at the store yesterday but they were all hard and sour. My daughter wouldn’t even eat them. I don’t know what was wrong with them. I think I’m going to complain to the store.
Friend 2: They were bad because it’s March. It’s not strawberry season.
Friend 1: Season? What?
We are fortunate in Texas to have long growing seasons. Even in January, the tables at our farmer’s markets are filled with cauliflowers, spinach, mustard greens, brussels sprouts, lettuce, kale, turnips, herbs and cabbage.
I still get our fruit at the grocery store; bananas will never be local or seasonal in Texas unfortunately, but again this isn’t about some sort of food legalism. It’s just about making choices and small changes to improve our quality of food.
Eating seasonally not only tastes better – it’s good for the budget! Many items can be found for half the price when in season. This isn’t a new concept – check out this article featuring my very own grandmother in 1948.
I wish my grocery bill was $7 a week. Anyway, my grandma (and probably many of your grandmas, too) grew up in a farming community where seasonal eating was a normal way of life, not a news-worthy phenomenon.
Some of the local, seasonal foods we’re eating this week: melons, cucumbers, peaches, squash and tomatoes. And yesterday, our neighbor brought us some figs from their backyard (and some of their extra eggs, woohoo!) – now that’s local! What’s local and seasonal in your area?