Tuesday, March 01, 2016 by Michael Bundrant
Eating the food that is available to us depending on the season has been a reality of human life, and all life, for the majority of our existence on this planet.
With technological progress and global access to foods, we now have the means to eat foods that are not being supported in our local environment because of the season and the environment itself. This may seem like a luxury, but it is one with high costs. For people to enjoy these foods year round, plants have been genetically modified to produce faster and larger yields while populations have been unfairly treated to produce these goods for a global market.
Seasonal eating is not just an arcane form of eating, it is a way to make a positive statement and a beneficial impact on your body and community.
Seasonal eating helps you support your local community of organic farmers. These farmers, as the name implies, do not genetically alter there plants so the plants behave, well, like they are supposed to. They have particular times of the year when they are ready to be harvested and other times when they cannot be grown. Farmers using sustainable practices focus on the quality of their food and by buying from them, we ensure our communities environment is better off.
A major environmental benefits is also the distance that our food will take to get to us. Instead of chomping down GMO grapes from Chile and taking a bite out of GMO dates from the Middle East during fall, it is better to eat a local and organic apple. The apple will have had to travel significantly less distance to reach you and that means it took a lot less carbon being placed into our atmosphere.
Buying local also buoys farmers who are in your communities. Farmers have taken extraordinary hits to their bottom line and lifestyle over the last century and, from the perspective of big corporations, they are on their last rope. But that does not have to be the case. We, as informed consumers, can choose who we shop from.
Using the systems amoral cliché that “money talks”, we can make a statement that will sure to make everyone turn their heads. Our community, including our farmers, are worth more than the convenience of a food item I could get in a few months with less harm to my community and the planet.
Seasonal eating is an ethical, healthy, and economical behavior that if sufficiently replicated would change the paradigm of our planet. As we embrace the fundamental realities of our seasons, we will get back in touch with nature and begin to develop compassion at a time when we most need it (as our planet comes under siege in all directions).