Seasonal Eating: Fresh is Best
By Karen Ilhardt, Home Economist Kroger Customer Connect
Have you ever bit into a juicy, vine-ripened tomato? What a difference between that and the greenhouse variety! My husband plants a few varieties of tomatoes every year at our home; I especially love the grape tomatoes. In fact, I would eat the two or three newly ripened ones each day and my husband wondered if that plant had produced any at all! It had, of course, but the grape tomatoes just didn’t make it to the kitchen. Oh, what rich flavor and texture! You can’t get any fresher than vine-to-mouth. If you’ve had a garden and the wonderful experience of freshly picked produce, I think you’ll agree with me that “fresh is best.”
More and more, Simple Truth® is reaching out to area producers so we can bring you fresh, locally raised produce. We want you to have those great flavor experiences even if you don’t have your own garden. There are several reasons to get foods locally and in season:
- Flavor: Food that is allowed to ripen naturally will develop the fullest flavor.
- Better Nutrition: Vitamins and minerals are developed and retained better if the food is allowed to ripen on the plant. This is especially true for vitamin C levels. Some of the nutritional value can be lost if the food travels thousands of miles to reach your store.
- In Sync with Your Body: Fresh summer fruits have a higher level of water content than other foods. This is matched well with warmer weather when we need the fluids to control body temperature and prevent our skin from drying out. Think of how great a cool wedge of watermelon tastes on a hot day. Nature seems to know what we need and when we need it!
- Lower Cost: Buying foods during their natural season saves money because the supply is plentiful. It’s also cheaper than producing it in greenhouses. Let nature do the work! Also, you can save money by buying foods that are traditional to your climate. Take advantage of foods typical to your area. If you live in the warmer, southern states, feast on the plentiful citrus fruits. Live in the northern states? Then apples and cherries are abundant throughout the spring and summer.
- Variety: Eating with the season’s harvest helps provide different textures and a better balance of the nutrients our bodies need.
- Organic: When we buy local, fresh, organic seasonal foods we will leave a lighter carbon footprint. It also lets us know we are putting natural, Earth-friendly foods into our bodies and those of our family.
For me, the biggest reason to buy fresh, seasonal food is to avoid processing. All Simple Truth® products are in nature’s form or have been minimally processed. We keep out the preservatives and artificial ingredients. Labels will show if the product is Organic, Natural or Free from 101. We want to keep it simple, fresh, wholesome and delicious.