What is seasonality ?
Seasonality is the patterns of variation in the abundance or distribution of species in space and time. Seasonality can be annual, such as the timing of reproduction in many organisms, or semi-annual, such as the northward migration of birds. The understanding of seasonality is important to understand what we eat and when.
Indeed, the timing of fruit and vegetable production is dictated by the seasons. In temperate climates, for example, summers are typically associated with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, while winters are associated with a scarcity. This is due to the fact that most fruits and vegetables require warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight to grow. Not very surprisingly, we also tend as humans to be the happiest during summer times.
The seasonal availability of fruits and vegetables has a significant impact on our diets. In the summer, we tend to eat more fruits and vegetables because they are more readily available. This is beneficial for our health as fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In the winter, we may eat fewer fruits and vegetables because they are less available, which can lead to a less nutritious diet. The seasonal availability of fruits and vegetables also impacts the economy. Farmers and growers rely on the seasons to produce their crops. When there is an abundance of a particular food, prices tend to be lower due to a high supply, and vice versa.
A wide variety of fruits and vegetables are available to us year-round, thanks to a global supply chain. However, eating seasonally is still the best way to get the most flavor and nutrition from your produce. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are at the peak of their freshness and flavor. They are also more affordable because they are in greater supply.
In order to achieve local, we must first understand seasonality as a key component
In addition to being fresher and more flavorful, seasonal fruits and vegetables are also more nutrient-dense. Nutrients are lost during the transportation and storage of fruits and vegetables, so they are more likely to be in their nutrient-rich state when they are in season.
Eating seasonally also has environmental benefits. Seasonal produce is typically grown locally, which reduces the distance it has to travel to get to your plate. This reduces the carbon footprint of your food. Seasonal produce is also more likely to be grown using sustainable practices, such as integrated pest management, which is better for the environment.
Have a look at our constantly evolving offering on Farmnetz which include local and seasonal products!