By Dani Poirier, Environmental Studies & Communications Student
One of my favorite things about fall is the food. Not just the Thanksgiving feast that we look forward to, but an entire season full of rich flavors. Eating seasonally is not only more sustainable, but it is a great way to connect with food and to make you grateful for a tummy full of fresh flavors!
What is seasonal eating? Essentially, it is using ingredients that have just been harvested at their peak of freshness. Eating seasonally requires you to adjust and change your diet throughout the year. Currently, grocery stores provide fresh fruits and veggies all year long, which is a luxury that is less sustainable because of the costs to grow and ship the food to and from all around the world. Seasonal eating is a great way to change your diet, to eat more sustainably, and to experience a variety of added benefits.
Benefits of Seasonal Eating
It’s healthier for you! Fresh seasonal foods are packed with nutrients. Plus, when the food is nutrient rich, the flavors are also at their best. #yum
It’s healthier for the environment. Eating local and in-season foods reduces the miles the food travels to get to you. The fewer food miles traveled, the lower the emission produced.
It’s healthier for the local economy. Buying locally supports local businesses. Plus, buying food from local farmers is great; they typically do not use harmful pesticides and sprays, or they manage pests using natural remedies such as ladybugs. Rather than requiring massive large-scale farms, factories, and shipment equipment, local famers use far less space and resources to provide you with the freshest of foods.
It’s easier on your wallet. Foods that are in season typically cost less! Saving money and supporting sustainable eating habits is a win, win all around.
Lucky for us, there are numerous farmers markets during the fall of which to take advantage. According to the SLCgreen, a branch of the local government, there are 16,700 farms on over 11 acres in Utah. Those numbers do not reflect the gardens and livestock that are taken care of by households.
Where can you get seasonal food? You can find a list of local markets here: http://www.slcgov.com/node/1295 but I will share my personal favorites.
In Pioneer Park every Saturday morning you can cruise down to the Downtown Farmers Market and stock up on fresh foods from now until October 24th. On Tuesday evenings, through October 20th, you can check out the Harvest Market. More information can be found here: http://www.slcfarmersmarket.org
My other favorite market is the U of U Farmers Market that happens on Thursdays in Tanner Plaza. Although our campus farmers market is over for this season be sure to check it out next year. http://sustainability.utah.edu/resource-center/get-involved/farmers-market.php
If you don’t have time to make it to the market, be sure to explore http://www.sustainabletable.org/seasonalfoodguide/ to find out what foods are in season based on where you live. Good news for Utah, the current list is long and yummy.
I can’t think of anything better than supporting the local community and filling your tummy with a delicious dinner! Don’t forget bring your reusable bags.
Share with us your favorite seasonal meals! Email firstname.lastname@example.org