Eating in Season
by Mary Louise;Town Jaqua, Health Minister

As a society we are privileged to have year around access to an abundant
supply of. Walk into most major supermarkets and one is happily greeted
by a wide display of fresh produce that is sourced both locally and globally.
Selections are common as well as rare. Everything from apples to
zuchinni, persimmons to pineapple, and cherries to cherimoya invite the
appetite for a price. Likewise, the common and exotic are offered according
to growing preference, i.e. commercial, organic, or GMO. Food shopping
thus becomes not only an inspiring adventure but an educational opportunity,
especially for the health-conscious.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a wide range of food from near
or far at any time of the year, there is an understanding, albeit a science,
to what is known as eating in season. Call it an ancient art or an archaic
practice, it is a proven fact that seasonal eating enriches body, spirit,
and the pocketbook.

Eating in season: the principle
The earth has different climates- tropical, sub-tropical, temperate,
artic- all of which correspond to geographical locations. Each climate
possesses a distinct ecological environment that sustains a unique
plethora of naturally-occurring sustenance that we commonly call food.
For centuries and millenia, countless societies have depended upon
their immediate surroundings for their food: plants, seeds, fruit, nuts,
vegetables, herbs, etc. These native foods were their means of
survival. Harvesting these foods seasonably in a 'hand-to-mouth'
eating style was a way of life that for them that was simple, convenient,
and most of all healthy. This way of eating reveals the wisdom of
YHVH Almighty to place natural sustenance everywhere on the
earth for the well being of its inhabitants, each native food possessing
a distinct signature or frequency that is designed to be in harmony
with Him and His creation. Call it 'secret science' or the mystery of
DNA, there is a science to food and eating that, when understood
and applied, greatly enhances quality of life.

Eating in season is thus expressed as the practice of selective eating:
electing to eat locally-sourced foods as they appear in the cycle
of nature. This practice embraces the understanding that foods
grow according to the rhythm of nature and are therefore best
eaten in their respective seasons for the sake of optimum
nutrition and ultimate health.

Eating in season: the practice
Our bodies are living organisms that are affected by weather
patterns, temperatures, magnetic forces, and seasons. The
body's sensitivity to these variables translates into eating
patterns that are directly related to its ever-changing nutritional
needs. If we are properly tuned to the body's needs, we will
consume those foods which are largely defined as seasonal.
Thus when the weather is warm, the body gravitates toward
cool, juicy foods such as melons, cucumbers, leafy greens,
and tomatoes that help hydrate cells and maintain the body's
electrolyte balance. In colder weather the body craves the
dense, carbohydrates/starches that are found in a variety of
root vegetables and winter squashes as fuel to help the body
keep warm. Generally speaking, foods can be catagorized
seasonably as follows.

  • Spring: Assorted greens, asparagus, kale, peas, leeks,
    radishes, rhubarb, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple
  • Summer: Kale, collards, arugula, lettuce, chard, asparagus,
    bell pepper, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic,
    radishes, spinach, summer squashes, zucchini, blackberries,
    blueberries, cherries, figs, lemons, limes, melon, mulberries,
    nectarines, peaches, plums, strawberries
  • Fall: Artichokes, beets, bell pepper, broccolini, brussels sprouts,
    butternut squash, cauliflower, celery root, chard, corn, eggplant,
    fennel, garlic, mushrooms, parsnip, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes,
    rutabaga, spinach, sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, pears,
    persimmon, plums, tomatoes
  • Winter: Beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots,
    celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes,
    pumpkin, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, winter squashes, citrus,

While climates vary and seasons come and go, following the
seasonal food trail, especially locally, is a sure indication of what
is available and therefore best to eat. As seasons progress, the land
will yield a variety of foods that should be picked and eaten ripe for
maximum nutrition. Thus flowing with the rhythm of the harvest and
eating the goodness of the land in its respective season is to flow
in harmony with creation itself.

There is a time for everything, and a season for
every activity under the heavens:a time to be born
and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot
Ecclesiastes 3:1,2

Eating in season: the advantages
While seasonal eating may generate skepticism from some,
there are benefits to this practice that might make even the worst
critic reconsider.

  1. Seasonal foods taste better- research shows that
    fresh produce, naturally ripened in the field, vine, tree
    or bush is sweeter and more succulent than foods that
    are forced to produce and ripen. Produce shipped
    from afar not only loses its freshness but flavor and
    becomes stale, tasteless, and less nutritious..
  2. Seasonal food is often less expensive- produce
    from local vendors is more cost effective than foods
    shipped across country or globe due to packaging,
    transportation, energy, and labor costs. Buying direct
    from farmers proves to be higher quality for less money
    especially if the food is in season..
  3. Seasonal foods help the environment- growing
    non-seasonal foods is a costly investment that places
    a burden on the environment because it requires
    artifical growing conditions, fuel, packaging, and
    shipping costs, all of which are passed on to the consumer.
    Locally-grown foods help responsibly sustain the land.
  4. Seasonal foods are more nutritious- foods that are
    grown out of season elsewhere in the world and shipped
    are picked green before they are fully developed/ripe.
    Early harvesting plus transport time to stores greatly
    decreases the foods' nutritional contents. Locally-grown
    foods eaten in season, however, are shown to have three
    times as much nutritional content.
  5. Seasonal foods are more convenient- access to
    fresh, seasonal foods is as easy as finding a local farmer,
    a local farmers' market, a health store or supermarket that
    carries fresh, locally- grown food. Likewise there is nothing
    more convenient that planting/shopping your own garden.
  6. Seasonal foods add variety- taking advantage of seasonal
    harvests is a healthy way to break away from old eating patterns
    by making new food choices. With each season, trying a new
    food adds greater nutritional support for the body.
  7. Seasonal foods help digestion- eating a variety of foods
    and rotating them seasonally adds a more diverse, dynamic
    population of health-supporting flora (bacteria) in the gut
    which promotes good digestion/absorption of nutrients.
  8. Season foods help the local economy- purchasing from
    local farmers keeps food dollars in the community which
    ultimately supports/benefits the overall local economy.

Eating in season: how and where to start
Beginning to eat foods that are in season is a simple process
that starts by searching local resources such as
where local growers sell their products. These markets
generally have a wide range of fresh produce and other natural
farm products. Due to increasing popularity and consumer
demand, many farmers markets now operate through the winter.

Some local farmers participate in a government-sponsored
program called
Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)
which grants those of low income a credit toward food purchased
at the markets. Likewise many local growers offer the option of
Subscription Farming that allows consumers to pay farmers
in advance for growing and delivering their food on a weekly

For added adventure there are also farmers who seasonably
open their orchards and farms as a
U-Pick opportunity for
consumers to come and pick their own fruit and vegetables.
U-Pick is cost effective for conscientious consumers.

Planting a garden is another good option for a reliable,
safe, and healthy food source. Adding berry bushes, small
fruit trees, grapes, herbs, etc. brings seasonal variety to
the table that supports healthy living.

When all else fails, head for the produce section in the
local health food store or supermarket
. Many stores
promote and regularly stock locally-grown produce.
Purchasing through these venues helps support the
stores' efforts to offer healthier foods to the consumer.

In the final analysis, thinking locally and buying locally
is a life principle in action where growers, merchants,
communities, and consumers work together to sustain a
better quality of life for us all.

The body is a living organism that is designed by our Creator
YHVH to be sustained on living foods sourced from a local,
living environment. His sovereign plan for our well being is
founded upon the understanding that eating the natural
goodness of the land that He provided will allow us to be
in harmony with Him and His creation which ultimately
translates into well being. The practice of eating locally-
sourced foods in season is thus not a new concept but
stems from YHVH Almighty Himself. Connecting with the land
and eating what the earth provides according to its rhythms
(seasons) enriches the body, elevates the spirit, and builds
healthy relationships.

In this age of over-reaching technology and artificial everything,
we would do well as a society to rediscover real food, so that
we can once again become real people who enjoy real health.

Thus our well being is not dependent on more and better
technology or healthcare, advancements in industry, or
greater political access and power but on the choices that
we make for ourselves daily. Vibrant health is the reward
of good stewardship of body, spirit, and the land upon which
we live. When in harmony with YHVH and His creation,
we can expect the blessings of prosperity and longevity.

The earth is YHVH'S, and the fulness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein.- Psalms 24:1

Then YHVH said, "I give you every seed-bearing
plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree
that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for
food.- Genesis 1:29 (NIV)


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