Your Springtime Guide to Eating Seasonally

Your Springtime Guide to Eating Seasonally

Your Springtime Guide to Eating Seasonally

If you’re like most North Americans, you can walk into the grocery store or even the farmers’ market at any time of the year and find just about the same foods. Tomatoes in January, turnips in April, fruits you’ve never heard of on-demand, you get the picture. And while we are incredibly lucky to have such a robust food system that brings us to produce from all over the world, the truth is that this might not be the healthiest way to eat--for you, or for the planet. 

Instead, you should strive to eat seasonally. 

 

What is seasonal eating? 

Seasonalfoodguide.com defines seasonal food as “produce that is purchased and consumed around the time that it is harvested.” This typically entails buying produce from local farmers instead of grocery stores, where it is often purchased from afar and shipped in by bus, boat, or plane. 

 

Why eat seasonally? 

There are many benefits to seasonal eating. First, it ensures that you’re getting the most nutrients possible from your food. In-season food retains far more nutrients, especially when it’s picked at peak ripeness and doesn’t have to be transported long distances before consumption. It is during these long trips that many kinds of products lose much of their nutrients. Plus, perfectly ripened produce tastes far better than under ripe food left to soften in transit. 

When you purchase your seasonal produce locally, you’ll also be supporting local farmers and your local economy, which can help to generate jobs in your area and ensure that the farmland doesn’t isn’t developed for other purposes. 

There’s also the added benefit of simply knowing where your food comes from. Purchasing local, seasonal goods allows you to open up a dialogue with the people growing it. You can ask just how the food is grown, what chemicals are used on it, and how it's stored, which is a great way to start taking control of your health. 

Eating seasonally will ensure your body gets a variety of different nutrients throughout the year, which helps fight off deficiencies that can lead to long-term health concerns.

 

How To Get Started

Depending on where you live, your options for seasonal eating may be vast or limited. Still, even in the dreariest climates, there are delicious and nutritious l options to be found all year if you’re willing to be creative and maybe even try something new!. Below is a general guide of the goods available in each region of the US during the spring season. For specific spring produce based on your state, visit https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/why-eat-seasonally, and for seasonal recipes to try out, check out the Real Food Encyclopedia. 

 

Northeast:

Chives

Pea Shoots

Watercress

Chives

Morels

Mushrooms

Parsnips

Fiddleheads

Apples

Asparagus

Potatoes

Spinach

Arugula

Sprouts

 

Northwest:

Apples

Asparagus

Chives

Fennel

Fiddleheads

Garlic

Green onions

Onions

Rhubarb

Potatoes

Nettles

Mushrooms

Sprouts

Tarragon

 

Southwest:

Watercress

Zucchini

Tomatoes 

Turnips

Tomatillos

Thyme

Strawberries

Radishes

Pumelo

Peas

Potatoes

Kale

Grapefruit

Fava beans

Cucumbers

Citrus 

Carrots

Cauliflower

Asparagus

Arugula

Cabbage

 

Southeast:

Carrots

Chard

Bok choy

Beets

Asparagus

Kale

Leeks

Shallots

Snap peas

Strawberries

Yams

 

Midwest:

Chives

Strawberries

Mushrooms

Parsnips

Rhubarb

Asparagus

Broccoli

Lambs quarters

Lettuce

Peas

 

South:

Raspberries

Blackberries

Arugula

Asparagus

Broccoli

Beets

Celery

Cauliflower

Carrots

Citrus

Fava beans

Green beans

Grapefruit

Mandarins

Oranges

Peaches

Peas

Potatoes

Strawberries

Summer squash

Tangerines

Sweet potatoes

Turnips

Winter squash

Zucchini

Tomatillos