5 Reasons to Buy Local Produce When It’s In Season
We are used to seeing all of the same produce in-store year-round, but even bananas and avocados have a natural season. From keeping your meal planning exciting to tuning you into the amazing products that are grown right here in our area, falling in step with seasonal eating has many benefits. Here are five reasons why you should aim to buy produce when it’s in season:
1. It costs less. Have you ever priced asparagus in February? A seasonal crop usually has a fluctuation in price that corresponds with volume available, which means when a crop is at its peak, the price is lower. With local produce, farmers will also often sell large quantities of blemished food for preserving at a lower cost.
2. It has a richer flavor. To get the most taste out of produce, it should be picked when it’s ripe, which is not what happens when produce is grown for year-round production. It’s actually picked before it’s ripe and ripens as it travels to our store.
3. It’s more nutritious. The flesh of produce is at its most nutritious when it’s ripe. If produce is picked before fully ripening, that prevents it from developing nutrients it would have gained if it had been grown longer. In addition, eating seasonally also gives you the opportunity to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which helps with eating a balanced diet.
4. It’s more sustainable. Buying locally-grown produce instead of produce brought in from other areas uses less transportation, less packaging, and less refrigeration, which reduces your carbon footprint.
5. It’s better for our community. When you buy local, in-season produce, your money goes directly to the local farmer or grower. They use that same money to shop at other local businesses, which means not only do you get to know exactly who is growing your food but also where your money is ending up.
To find out when local produce is in season, click here to view our helpful Wisconsin in-season produce calendar, or visit the What’s New & In Season Now tab on our new online store. It’s updated every week with the latest selection of fresh produce available in-store or for curbside pickup!
This article was originally published in the August/September 2020 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.