Shopping for Seasonal Produce
Ashleigh Abreu, RDN, Chef Educator
At The Sylvia Center, we teach all ages the importance of food being nutritious and delicious. One way we do this is utilizing in season produce in our recipes, and teaching how to shop seasonally. This can be from the produce section at your local grocery store, farmers markets, or food pantry*. Enjoying fruits and vegetables that are in season benefit our bodies, taste buds, and wallets.
Seasonal produce has shown to contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than out of season produce.1 Fruits and vegetables picked at their peak also taste better! Have you ever compared the taste of a tomato purchased in the summer with one purchased in the winter? Tomato season in New York is from June thru October,2 which means the winter tomato most likely traveled much further to get to your table, losing flavor and nutrients along the way. If you want to get even more benefits from seasonal produce, try to purchase locally grown produce. Purchasing locally grown food supports your local farmers, economy and invests back into the community. Click here to find a farmers market in your community (New York residents only).
Shopping seasonally is also great for your grocery budget. Fruits and vegetables are less expensive and come in abundance during the months they are harvested.3 For example, you may have noticed apples are on sale late summer into fall, which is their peak harvest season.4 With all of these benefits of shopping seasonally, it’s a great idea to have a list of which produce is in season before you shop. Click here to see what’s currently in season. When your favorite produce is not in season and more likely to be pricer, you can substitute with frozen and canned produce. These items are relatively the same price year round, last longer, and are packaged at their peak.
*Link to find local food pantries, soup kitchens, and more in your community.