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Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's in season?

What's the big deal about buying "in season"?  Buying food items that are considered to be in season, especially if you're buying them from local sources, offer so many benefits.  One is that you're getting the freshest possible product. Have you ever bought produce from the grocery store only to get it home and have it looking shriveled and inedible 12 hours later?  Chances are that fruit or vegetable traveled a pretty long way to your fridge and it probably didn't start its journey all that fresh to begin with.  Buying in season also usually means less expensive.  Who doesn't want less expensive produce?  Buying in season usually means more nutritious.  Fruits and vegetables tend to lose many nutrients after being harvested.  So the longer the time an item spends after being picked before it gets to your fork can be the difference between food high in vitamins and minerals and food that has virtually none.

So what's in season here? Despite the particularly warm winter we've been's still winter.  I don't know about you, but the grass in my yard doesn't too green and I'm pretty sure there aren't any seedlings anxiously waiting to turn into sprouts anytime soon.  So is there anything "in season" in these cold climates we call home?  Yes!  During the winter months vegetables that are considered "in season" include all kinds of potatoes, beets, turnips, winter squash, parsnips, cabbage, and onions.  If these are foods you don't normally salivate over, be brave and give them a try!  I will try to come up with a few recipes that feature the less popular ones (beets and turnips) so stay tuned.  Also, don't forget about other farm products that are fresh all year round and you can always purchase local, organic versions of including eggs, milk, yogurt, poultry, and beef.  So go easy on your wallet, get more nutritious food, and support a local something in season this week!

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