Healthy Outdoor Living

Seasonal Foods Nourish Your Body and Soul


More from Outdoor Living Newsletter October Outdoor Living Newsletter
 
Lady with basket of food
Eating with the seasons

Campers and RVers are adventurers. We like to travel, we love to explore and often the more miles the better. However have you ever stopped to think about how far the food on your plate has travelled? You may surprise yourself when you do the math. Even a simple fruit salad may have peaches from Chile, bananas from Ecuador and apples from New Zealand. That's 16,000 miles!

We live in a world of modern conveniences where many fruit and vegetables are available year round. Supermarkets and grocery stores beat Mother Nature by flying goods from all over the world to meet consumer needs. But produce that could qualify for a passport has an impact on the environment as airfreight quickly racks up global warming emission. It often needs to be picked way in advance to be able to survive the journey. Premature picking means that nature has not had a full opportunity to pack your fruits and veggies with all of its tasty goodness.

There are three things you can do to ensure you get the best tasting produce and at the same time help protect our environment:

  1. Buy seasonal - whether it is spring peas that are fragrant and sweet or rich acorn squash in the fall, nature has her way of keeping our palate varied and our diets filled with goodness. Purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season is easy. Try chugging your RV along to local farmer's markets where crates of apples are hauled off the back of a truck, or strawberry fields where you and your kids get to pick your own juicy morsels! If you are buying from supermarkets and grocery stores, stick to produce that is in season in your area, by checking the produce finder for what's fresh near you.
  2. Become a Locavore - eating foods that are grown in your own (proverbial) back yard is the simplest way to minimize carbon emissions from freighting meats, fruits and vegetables half way around the world. Start to ask restaurants, supermarket managers and grocery store owners about the origins of their lettuce, and they will soon get the message that conscious consumers value local produce. Not only do you help your local economy, you also get tastier fruits and vegetables that have had the most time to ripen.
  3. Seek organic - where possible, look for organic produce. Would you coat your salad with insect repellant? Didn't think so! As the old saying goes, you are what you eat, so why buy strawberries where methyl iodide (which pose potential hazards to human health) is injected into the ground? Non organic farming techniques can compromise your family's well being, as well as the health of our soil, groundwater, air and everything in between.

Seasons come and go, and new fruits and vegetables grow with the rise and fall of the sun. There is a beautiful rhythm to nature, so celebrate it by cooking your meals with seasonal, local and organic foods and your body and the environment will thank you.

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