Eating With The Seasons: October
This past month has seen a lot of ups and downs, in the world around as well as in the garden. Temperatures have fallen into the 30’s here in Vermont and also bounced back to nearly 80°. It has given us a taste of what’s to come, while also letting us savor the last bits of summer.
I’m still picking my strawberries and tomatoes (when the chipmunks and squirrels don’t get them first.) My fall crops of brussel sprouts, cauliflower, fennel, and lettuce are coming along nicely. And any day now my fall planted garlic bulbs will arrive and be ready to plant.
I was resisting the end of summer and the onset of pumpkin season… but I think I am finally ready to welcome fall and this new season of flavors. To slow down, to retreat inward, to create a home space that is healthy and nurturing. There has been so much sickness and unrest and anger in the world around. It is so important to have a home that nurtures and restores you. I wish that for all of you and will try to help with some recipes that do the same.
As the world around us shifts with the seasons, so do the foods that are harvested. It should only make sense then, that our eating follows this same pattern. Seasonal eating is when you eat foods at the time of year that they are harvested. This is something that we tend to do naturally, eating pumpkin in fall for instance, or asparagus in spring. But did you know that seasonal eating throughout the year can improve your health and the environment?
The Benefits Of Seasonal Eating
In Season Produce Tastes Better
Eating foods that are harvested when they are ripe in their local growing season simply taste better. Out of season produce on the other hand is picked early, stored in cold storage for months, and sometimes travels long distances to reach you. In season fruits and vegetables are allowed to ripen fully before being harvested, which improves not only their flavor, but their nutrition too.
Eating Seasonally Improves Nutrition
Allowing produce to ripen fully before harvesting maximizes its nutrient availability (the amount that your body is able to process.) It is at it’s maximum right after harvest, so eating fruits and vegetables right after they are picked is better for you. As the time from harvest increases, the nutrient availability decreases, sometimes by as much as 30-50%.
Seasonal Eating Supports Gut Health
Eating seasonally means that you are eating foods as they become available from season to season, or month to month. This means that instead of eating the same foods all year round, you are eating a varied mix, diversifying your diet. Studies have shown that human microbiomes change in accordance with the seasons, and that eating seasonally can help promote proper gut bacteria and improve health. For more on the importance of gut health click here.
Seasonal Eating Is Better For The Environment
Eating out of season and non-local produce not only decreases the nutritional value of the foods, it also increases the carbon footprint of them. Out of season produce can be kept in cold storage for months, using energy to preserve it. Non-local produce often must be flown or shipped long distances to reach you. increases their carbon footprint.
Seasonal Eating Guide For October
Seasonal Low-Carb, Keto Fruits And Vegetables For October
- Swiss Chard
- Delicata & Spaghetti Squash
- Brussel Sprouts
- Shallots & Onions