Seasonal food is produce that is purchased and consumed around the time that it is harvested. Seasonal eating means mostly eating fresh produce at the time of year when it’s ripe and ready for harvesting, although this time frame varies slightly depending on where in the world you are located.
Eating with the cycles of nature supports the local food economy, reduces our carbon footprint, and offers maximum flavor and nutritional benefits.
When you eat fresh-picked strawberries from your farmer’s market in July there’s no comparison to the ones you find in a plastic container in the dead of winter. A July strawberry is picked at its peak has a deep red color, it’s juicy, sweet, and full of flavor. In addition, seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms are fresher because they do not require long transport.
Eating Seasonally Supports a Strong Food System
Eating with the cycles of nature supports local farmers by allowing them to grow and harvest as nature intended. This supports a healthy farm ecosystem by allowing crops to take advantage of natural resources and as a result reduces the need for synthetic chemicals, fertilizer, and pesticides in our food supply chain. Food doesn’t fit into the instant gratification lifestyle we value today. It’s the opposite, slow food, good food takes patience and time.
Food Harvested in Peak Season is More Nutritious
Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables picked at their peak ripeness not only contain more flavor but more nutrients. Allowing crops to take advantage of natural resources means balanced, nutrient-dense, soil. Studies have proven that food grown in nutrient-dense soil contains higher levels of vitamins, essential minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, and proteins.
There are ways to preserve the fresh flavors of the season for when a craving hits. For example, around late September each year, we gather the last of the season’s chili peppers preserving their flavors into our Smoked Pilacca Hot Sauce.
How can you practice seasonal eating?
Shopping at your local farmers’ market is a great start. At the markets, you can talk to the farmers about the best cooking practices too. You can also use a seasonal food calculator to practice seasonal eating. Dining at restaurants and other small businesses that purchase from local farms, and rotate menus seasonally is another way to support a strong regional food system.
Wood Fire Food is committed to seasonal eating and work with our valued farm partners and community to bring the best of the region and reason to your table.
Follow us on Instagram to view our seasonal menus.