Why should we have more Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables?
With the advent of doorstep deliveries, cold storage for frozen foods, and easy imports, you can now get your favorite California apples, Aloo Gobhi ki sabzi, and Mooli ke Parathe, all around the year.
That should be a good thing, right?
Actually, the answer is a big NO and I would go as far as to say it is criminal to consume food that is not local or seasonal given the existing climate crisis.
Your choice of eating can have an impact on the climate crisis. Yes, that means eating Tinda, Tori , Lauki and Karela can help the economy and our planet.
Curious ? So let us know how that works.
7 Benefits of eating Seasonal fruits and vegetables
1. They taste better
A fruit or vegetable that is grown not far from your home tastes better as it has been plucked fresh. Since it is fresh and is locally grown, it spends less time in the freezers during transit. Because of this reduced storage time, the fruit retains more of its juices and original nutrient content and tastes much better.
2. It adds to the nutritional value of our food
Consuming more fruits and vegetables can decrease the incidence of heart diseases and stroke by 31% and 19%, respectively. (1).During cold chain and storage , food loses a large percentage of its vitamins as most vitamins have a short half life. For the very same reason, when food spends less time in transportation and storage , it retains a higher percentage of vitamins and minerals thus making the food more nutrition dense and better value for money .
3.Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables add variety to your meals
Having seasonal fruits and vegetables adds a novelty to the menu. Think of summers as mango season with its mango shakes, Amrakhand and Aamras in your thali or juicy red Gajar ka Halwa in winters and let’s not forget Sarson ka saag with Makke ki roti in winters. Who could say no to such seasonal delicacies!
4.You are in sync with nature’s seasonal cycle
Nature knows best!
Consequent to hot weather, our body sweats a lot and our kidneys are working overtime to maintain the electrolyte balance. Therefore in summer season, we need food that are easy to digest and assimilate. In summers we need seasonal fruits and vegetables that are cooling and have high water content like gourds, cucumbers and melons. Comparatively these high water content foods are also easier to digest and thus easy on the stomach. Similarly food in winters is high on iron and fiber which is digested better in winters.
5.Reduce unwanted chemical in your food
Carrying fruits and vegetables over long distance needs them to be chemically and physically treated to help them retain the color and firmness. Methyl salicylate( the same chemical used to make Aspirin), potassium silicate, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), and diphenylamine (DPA) are commonly used to maintain postharvest quality and extend the shelf-life of fruits.
we consume locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, the concentration of these harmful chemicals in the food automatically goes down as they reach from farm to your doorstep in much less time and do not need prolonged storage.
6. Eating Seasonal Fruits and vegetables supports local farmers
Even today India, is a largely agriculture based economy. By choosing locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, we can support our farmers and our economy. The make-in-India slogan should hold true for grown-in-India too.
7. It reduces Carbon Footprints
Particularly when food grown and harvested in one country is transported to another country for consumption, it involves the use of fossil fuels and adds to the carbon foot prints. By consuming only locally grown and seasonal fruits and vegetables, we can reduce the carbon footprints and help in checking global warming.
Here is a short list of fruits and vegetables that are plentiful in India in the summer season and taste great too.
What Indian Fruits and Vegetables to eat in Summer ( May to August )
For the benefit of those who are no aware of the seasonal produce of India, here is a short list of Indian fruits and vegetables to enjoy in the summer and rainy season.
1. Musk melon
2. Water melon
4. Indian plums
11. Bottle Gourds
12. Cluster beans
13. Raw banana
15. Bitter gourd
16. Ridge gourd
I hope this post helps you to make choices that are good for not only you but also for the planet.
(This post is my contribution to Blogchatter’s initiative #CauseAChatter to spread awareness about #sustainability #sustainableliving and staying #HaleHeartyHealthy )
All Images – Pixabay