Seasonal Foods

Modern technology and transportation systems have enabled us to obtain various types of foods year-round. However, the quality of fruits and vegetables fluctuate with the seasons. Seasonality refers to a food’s peak harvest time. In turn, what is considered to be “seasonal” will vary widely depending on the crop’s geographical location.  We are lucky to live in California, since the almost perfect weather and rich soil contribute to a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables and extended seasons for some produce.

Reasons to Eat Seasonally:

If a food item is not in-season locally, it is likely to have been grown in another part of the world and shipped to your market. This transportation process contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and results in a high carbon footprint. Fruits and vegetables that are in season have a more full-bodied flavor than those that are not. Transporting crops requires them to be harvested prematurely. Fruits don’t ripen as effectively after being picked from their native plants and refrigerated. When produce is in season locally, the relative abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive. Eating seasonal food supports the local farming economy.

Resources:

To learn more about seasonal fruits and vegetables, visit the Southland Farmers’ Market Association at: www.sfma.net/consumer/inseason.shtml

Farmers Market @ UCLA Calendar:

http://www.e3ucla.org/farmers-market.html

For information on purchasing and a seasonal, locally grown produce in pre-arranged community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes with pick up locations at UCLA, go to:

http://www.sustain.ucla.edu/our-initiatives/food-systems/csa/

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