Keri’s Leaner faster stronger
Seasonal and local – day 2
Is out of season food healthy or not?
Unless you live a life like Barbara and Tom from the good life, tending to your fruit and vegetables day in day out, you probably have little knowledge of seasonal food and it’s health benefits.
Since eating within the seasons is the advice given by health professionals these days, it makes you wonder if eating out of season food is in fact healthy or bad for us?
From a health perspective, food that’s not in season has been grown in huge greenhouses or shipped from warmer climates travelling thousands of miles before arriving in our supermarkets. This has many consequences for the consumer. Firstly, they are picked before ripeness so that it can endure the long distance shipping experience. This means that it’s nutrient profile is lower than a local and ripe product. Vitamin C for instance, which is abundant in most fruit and vegetables, is notoriously unstable and so would be lost in transit so to speak, making out of season food less nutritious.
Also transporting produce sometimes requires them to be zapped by a burst of radiation to kill germs. Preservatives such as wax is also added before refrigeration.
Taste wise there is absolutely no comparison. Locally grown food tastes amazing, has great texture and looks appetising. Most local food grown by farmers are also healthier due to having less pesticides and chemicals used for preservation too.
Air miles is another issue for many people. Local food usually travels only a few miles from farm to table ensuring less pollution to the environment.
Another quite interesting argument for eating seasonal is the fact that our bodies actually crave seasonal food due to the weather. Have you noticed how you fancy salads in the summer and crave stews and soups made of root vegetables in winter?
It’s all great saying that local and seasonal is better,tastier and cheaper, however how practical is it to eat like this all the time? If you lived in Italy or California, it wouldn’t be much of a problem, Burry Port however?
Unless you love pigging out on carrots and caulis for the whole winter, you are going to get pretty bored very quickly. Not many fruits are in season in cold and wet Wales in winter.
Our advice would be to try and eat as much seasonal food as you can to get a good amount of natural vitamins and nutrients, as well as getting a tastier and better value product. However supplement with imported fruit and veg as well. We have no intention of giving up bananas anytime soon as they are a great addition to the sports diet.
Seasonal food are in abundance in supermarkets these days, as they do try and cater for popular demand. Many supermarkets buy produce from farmers in Wales and the UK these days, you can usually find the grower written on the label.
Another option for tired and busy workers is frozen fruit and vegetables.
Studies show that these are actually healthier in terms of vitamins and nutrients than many fresh out of season produce, due to the fact they have been picked and frozen within hours, and so have not lost any of their nutrients. It also means you can eat strawberries for instance all year round.
Choosing frozen also means less wastage for the family too. No more shrinking yellowing broccoli lurking in the back of the fridge, which everyone forgot about!
Here is a list of what’s in season in November, helping you to make good seasonal and local choices in the supermarkets and small local shops.
Eat to train,