An important part of buying local is making an effort to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season in your area. Although today’s global marketplace allows us to buy foods grown virtually anywhere in the world all year round, these options are not the most sustainable.
By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the local organic farmers, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Buying seasonal produce also provides an exciting opportunity to try new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes. And it simply tastes better!
Even if you don’t want to change any of your eating habits, you can at least make sure to buy local produce when it’s available (best “organic” as much as possible), rather than purchase the same type of food from 3000 miles away!
For an added challenge, try to eat most foods only when they are in season, or can seasonal food in order to eat and enjoy it all year round.
I found a great resource for food miles and local eating at the Natural Resources Defense Council. They have every state and every season easily accessible!
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Midwestern Seasonal Fruits & Vegetable A guide to seasonal fruits and vegetables in the Midwest. Find out what’s growing when in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.
- Northeast Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables Find Northeast harvest times for your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables in New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
- Pacific Northwest Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables – Seasonality Guide Find what’s in season in the Pacific Northwest, from boysenberries to zucchini.
- Southern Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables Find Southern seasonal fruits and vegetables with this guide to what’s in season in Southern states.
- Southwestern Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables Find seasonal fruits and vegetables in season in the American Southwest.
- Upper-Midwestern Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables What crops are grown and when are they harvested in the upper-midwest? This guide gives harvest months for produce grown in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.