What is eating seasonally and what is all the hype about?
Eating seasonally means eating the produce that is locally available and grown depending on the particular season. Recently, I have noticed that more and more people are focusing on eating with the seasons. And to be honest, eating this way in the past was probably just the “normal” thing to do before our food system went global. Not only is “in-season” food more delicious, but it helps to reduce our food miles, and supports our local farmer’s and economy.
I’m not recommending cutting out everything that is considered “out-of-season” completely, but maybe think about ways you could reduce it. My husband and I used to grab a pack of raspberries every week at the grocery store, even during the months when we were consistently disappointed with them (usually during the winter months). Over the past year we have changed our buying habits a bit. We try to consume them in the summer months, when they are full of sweet flavor and perfectly ripe. However, we still buy them occasionally, just not consistently like before. Always do what works best for you and your family, and give in to the occasional craving!
How to know what’s in season near you
I had no idea where to start when finding out what produce was local and seasonal in my area at first. My favorite tips are below:
- Just do a quick search online for local seasonal guides and you’re sure to stumble upon something helpful.
- My favorite way to see what is in season is to shop at your local farmer’s market! They definitely wont have berries all year long.
- If you aren’t close to a farmer’s market, see what your grocery store has an abundance of. (Like when they display barrels full of corn.) I’ve been noticing too, that more and more grocery stores are labeling where the food is grown, so you can try to be more mindful of how far that food has traveled before it ends up in your home.
Alright, so now we are thinking about eating more seasonally, and are ready to head out to our local markets…but how do we keep it more plastic-free?
You can use these reusable cotton produce bags to keep all your ingredients fresh and reduce your plastic bag use at the store!
When I started using reusable bags, I never thought to also use reusable produce bags! And let me tell you…it’s a game changer! I never realized how many little plastic produce bags I used each shopping trip. For my husband and I, using reusable bags probably gets rid of 30 little plastic produce bags per month and that’s about 360 per year! Talk about something so small having such a big impact.
Not only do I love the reusable produce bags for shopping trips, but they are a great way to store your fruits and veggies at home in the refrigerator as well! They are 100% natural cotton and plastic-free, such a wonderful alternative to those tiny single-use plastic produce bags that we never have enough room to store in our homes anyway.
One more thing! I love these bags so much, can you tell? No worries if your bags get a bit dirty, they are machine washable. I have never had to replace my bags, but if you want to, they are biodegradable or you could even repurpose them for something else at home. I bet they would make great storage for toys or craft supplies.
Make sure to take along your reusable cotton grocery bags too! Especially if you are heading to the farmer’s market, you’ll want a cute bag for all your local goodies. But let me tell you about this little secret…you can use if for way more than just groceries. My tote bag has turned in to my carryall, and I am obsessed.
The most amazing feature of this bag in my opinion, are the 6 internal pockets to keep everything organized. If you like to keep your groceries separate or need a special space for your phone and keys…this bag has it all. Also, you’re not going to believe this…but each tote can hold up to 10 gallons of milk. Not saying you will need to do this, but that’s incredibly strong, so no need to worry about your groceries falling through the bottom. And of course they are washable and made from organic cotton.
Make sure you keep that produce nice and fresh once you get it home
I almost forgot to mention how important it is to store your produce once you bring it home, especially those fall greens like kale and collards. To keep them from wilting you can use this swaddle sheet that keeps your greens crisp for an extended period of time and helps you to reduce your food waste! The unique design of the swaddle sheet allows your fruits and veggies to remain fresh for longer in the refrigerator because it is breathable. Another tip is to keep it a little damp with a simple spritz of water every day or so.
The amazing thing about these bags, is that they are designed for a larger cause. Ecozoi has a single mission: to save our planet, oceans, and our own health by saying NO to plastic bags at the grocery store.
Did you know…It takes 10-20 years for a plastic bag to break down in the ocean, and plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to ocean health worldwide?
You are making a larger impact than you may think by simply choosing to reuse.
Eating seasonally allows you to truly enjoy the flavors of the season and to experiment making seasonal dishes for you and your family to enjoy. I hope you feel super empowered to go out there, enjoy local produce, and do it all while helping the environment and your local community.