How important is eating by season? Today, it’s easy for us to forget about the seasons when we eat because of the worldwide distribution of foods and our ability to freeze and store foods. The grocery store shelves look much the same in December as they do in July. But just as changes in growing conditions from spring to summer or fall to winter are considered essential for balancing the earth’s resources and its life forms, our bodies prefer different foods for each season. Eating by season has the added benefits of being able to buy locally grown foods which supports the local economy and is easier on the environment.
We Naturally Desire Different Foods in Different Seasons
When the temperature, humidity, and length of days start changing as a new season begins, we respond to these changes in nature by desiring different foods and daily routine. In the hot months, for instance, most people choose cooler, lighter foods and take it easy more often, even indulging in afternoon naps when they have the chance. As the weather cools in fall, we suddenly start feeling more energetic and desire warming foods and tastes. Most people would find watermelon much more appealing in the summer time and hot soup more desirable in the winter months. I believe that if we are in tune with nature’s intelligence and our own body’s needs, we will naturally crave the foods that will keep us in balance as the seasons change.
Ayurveda Encourages Eating by Season
Ayurveda is the ancient science of whole living and has been around for over 3000 years. The practice breaks body types into 3 main physiologies or doshas: vatta, pita, and kapha. Ayurvedic philosophies believe we each contain varying proportions of each dosha, with one or two usually in dominance. The primary dosha points to how – or who – we are in our most healthy, balanced state. Foods are eaten based on the dosha and the season so as to keep the body in balance. Dr. John Douillard is a well respected ayurvedic author and doctor. He believes that nature provides the ideal harvest for each season to keep us strong, healthy, energized and focused. He has written a book called “The Three Season Diet”. Although we normally think of 4 seasons, there are 3 primary harvests – spring, summer, and fall. He provides free food lists emailed directly to you for each season on his website. https://lifespa.com/3seasondietchallenge
Environmental And Financial Impact of Eating by Season
There is a big environmental impact due to the amount of energy that it takes to transport out of season foods across the globe. Some founds such as asparagus, maybe flown in from South America. We are getting so used to seeing bananas at the grocery store year round, we don’t think of the real cost of importing that food. Eating by season may save you money because when you buy what’s in season, you buy food that’s at the peak of its supply, and it costs less to harvest and get to your grocery store. The quality may also be up because you’re getting fruits and vegetables that haven’t had time to lose their flavor or their health benefits by sitting in a shipping container for a trip across the ocean. In addition, I believe it is important to eat a variety of foods and eating by season is one way to do that. Here is a website that updates the list of foods that are in season in North America weekly: http://www.eattheseasons.com
Encourages Home Cooking
Eating seasonally may also forces you to cook more since you won’t be buying processed foods that are the same year round. Eating fresh foods, that are as organic as possible, is one of the best things you could do for your health. Cooking at home allows you to choose the cooking technique, oil, amount of sugar, etc. which allows you to consciously make better choices for your health. Eating by season keeps challenging your creativity to come up with new, fun and delicious dishes based on what you find. Maybe you choose to google a recipe, look through some cookbooks or go on Pinterest to find new inspiration. I use http://allrecipes.com And as I mentioned before, variety is also healthy for our bodies. By changing our menu according to what’s available, you may be less likely to develop food intolerances.
Animals Eat by Season Naturally
If you’ve been lucky enough to see a moose or deer eat during different times of the year, you’d see the change in their diet. In the winter, they eat primarily leafless woody plants. In the summer, they eat lots of greens. It’s easy to catch moose eating swampy grass and deer nibbling apples and grasses in the summer. Their bodies adapt to the food that is available. Rabbits produce heat during digestion. To help keep cool in the summer, they eat less of more nutrient dense food. In the winter, they may eat up to three times the amount of they eat in the summer to keep warm. Even fish produce different digestive enzymes depending on the season.
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