In our ever-connected global economy, we can get any type of food we want at any time of the year. Believe it or not, the ability to buy cherries in December or pomegranates in June is a fairly recent concept. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But If you’ve ever wanted to support the local St. Louis food scene, then you should seriously consider buying seasonal produce. Buying fruits and vegetables that are in-season is not a new concept at all. In fact, once upon a time, people could only buy things that were available at certain times of year. Obviously, we’re not limited to this anymore, but buying seasonal produce has many benefits for your health and your local economy.
If you’ve ever wanted to shop local and eat healthier, here’s why and and how to do it this autumn when you buy seasonal produce.
3 Reasons to Buy Seasonal Produce
While convenience is a luxury we will never complain about (hello, frozen pizza!), buying produce that is in-season has many benefits for your health and wallet alike. Here are a few reasons why you should start buying seasonal produce.
Have you ever noticed the fluctuation in price on certain produce items throughout the year? Chances are, those reduced prices are possible because that type of food is in season. Seasonal produce is, in fact, cheaper than out-of-season produce. Why? This sums it up quite nicely:
When you buy what’s in season, you buy food that’s at the peak of its supply, and costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and get to your grocery store. It may seem like common sense, but it’s one of those things many of us ignore when we’re shopping.”
When you buy food that’s out of season, you’re essentially buying food that has to be shipped to the US from overseas. This food is boxed up in shipping containers, carted across the ocean, and transported on semi trucks to your grocery store from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. All that time, labor, fuel prices, etc. drive the cost of your food way up. Buy purchasing food that is in-season, you’ll save big on your grocery bills.
Like we mentioned above, if the food is in-season, that means it’s not only grown closer to you, but you’re also buying it when it’s at its freshest and most nutritious. From the time your produce is harvested to when it’s delivered to your local grocery store, it starts to age. Oftentimes it’s picked before it’s ripe so it can survive the long journey ahead. When you buy in-seasons foods, you’re getting it when it’s at optimal flavor, nutrition, and freshness. What’s not to love about that?
You’ll support local farmers
When you buy seasonal produce, it also makes it possible for local farmers to make a living. These farmers are the backbone of the food economy and need your support! Buy supporting their efforts to provide locally-grown produce, you keep that money in your state and in your community. Check out more ways for you to support the local St. Louis food scene.
The Top In-Season Things to Buy This Autumn in St. Louis
Not all states have fresh produce growing all year round. Lucky for us, Missouri does! As the months get colder, things do become more limited; but that doesn’t mean you can’t expand your palate and try cooking with ingredients you might not normally try!
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list for buying seasonal produce in autumn here in St. Louis. In November, pears, broccoli and garlic will also be considered in-season! Curious to know what other items are in season-throughout the year? Check out this cool In-Season Map!
How to Incorporate Seasonal Produce into Your Cooking
It’s all about getting creative and being willing to try something new. You may not be used to cooking with cabbage, for instance, but with the right recipe, you may just find your new favorite veggie and seasonal dish! Here are a few recipes for you to try out using the seasonal items on this list. Here are a few of our recommendations:
- Apple Cranberry & Almond Coleslaw
- Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken
- Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
- Raspberry Clafoutis
- Garlic Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan
Buying seasonal produce might take a little more forethought than usual, but it’s worth it! Try incorporating a few of these items into one of your next dishes and let us know in the comments below what your favorite autumn recipe is!