As Americans become more and more informed about how they get their food—from what goes into it to where it comes from—many people are making the decision to eat food that is in season, or at its peak growth for the year. Whether the decision is made for health reasons, moral reasons, or something else, there are many benefits to eating seasonal food!


Why eat seasonal?

  • Taste: Food grown in season isn’t typically grown in a greenhouse, so it tends to taste fresher.

  • Cost: Because seasonal food can be grown locally, there are no import costs, which in turn makes the food cheaper when it hits the shelves.

  • Variety: As the seasons change, you get to eat many different foods.

  • Environment: Eating food that's in season helps to lessen the unnecessary travel involved as food is delivered to grocery stores (which saves energy). Also note that seasonal food that is grown organically is grown in a sustainable way.

  • Health: Because seasonal food is at the best quality it will be at any point in the year, it is rich in nutrients.


What’s in season for fall?

Some foods that are in season for fall are commonly known—for example, apples and pumpkins. You may be unaware, however, that the list of fall foods is actually quite large! I’ve put together this list based on a graphic from fitssentialliving.com.

  • Figs

  • Grapes

  • Bell Peppers

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Eggplant

  • Pumpkin

  • Red Potatoes

  • Shallots

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes

  • Basil

  • Tarragon


Transitional Foods

Some foods are considered in season during more than one season of the year, making the transition between seasons easier. Here are some foods that are in season during both fall and winter:

  • Apples

  • Cranberries

  • Pears

  • Persimmons

  • Pomegranates

  • Quinces

  • Brussel Sprouts

  • Escarole

  • Fennel

  • Frisee

  • Leeks

  • Mushrooms

  • Parsnips

  • Rutabagas

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Winter Squash

  • Bay Leaves

  • Parsley

  • Rosemary

  • Sage

  • Thyme


What else will be in season this winter?

To close out the list, here are some foods that will be in season before we know it!

  • Baby Turnips

  • Beets

  • Endive

  • Celery Root

  • Chili Peppers

  • Jerusalem Artichokes

  • Kale

  • Potatoes

  • Turnips

  • Watercress


How can I remember what foods are in season?

Many websites offer a visual way to remember what foods are in season by designing cool graphics that let shoppers know what to look for in stores. I really like the one below (from theguardian.com) because not only is the organization easy to follow, it also comes in a PDF version that you can print for your refrigerator.

Like the article? We bet you’ll love this book:
With 100 recipes from across the country, Peachy shines new light on an old favorite. Regarded by some as a simpleton, the peach makes a break for the big time in soups, salads, main dishes an...
Peachy

Lori Nawyn