This season has literally come out of nowhere. It seemed we were waiting and waiting and waiting for spring, but the warm, sunny days that we were longing for just never came. Then, all of a sudden, it's June and 93 degrees. Summer has literally exploded upon us!
If I could encourage you to do just one thing this summer it would be to train yourself to think about eating seasonally. There is such a natural rhythm to what Mother Nature provides us throughout the year. You can eat asparagus 12 months of the year, but why would you when there are so many other flavors to explore? I want to eat asparagus in season and then I want to move on to the peas and lettuces and radishes, followed by tomatoes, squash and all of the other wonderful flavors that the summer season bring forth.
It's especially important for us to focus on eating things in season, because it's healthier for our bodies and it certainly makes more sense. An entire year’s worth of vegetables and fruits delivers the full scope of nutrients that our bodies need. If all you ate was asparagus, your body would never get the other nutrients it needs to operate at its peak.
These things are important to you; they’re important to your children; and they’re important to our future. With rampant increases in kidney, liver, heart disease, cancer, attention deficit disorder, autism, child obesity and allergies, the way we’re eating today is just not sustainable. I think that if we can really focus on eating seasonally and celebrating the seasons, we’ll all be better off at so many different levels.
Next time you go to the farmer’s market, think twice if you see product being transferred out of a hard, waxy coated box that says product of Mexico and into a wooden crate with a “homegrown” label. It’s pretty obvious those veggies are not from their farm (and, believe me, I’ve seen it done before), but my guess is most farmers are a little smarter than that.
Some little tricks that you can certainly take with you to the farmer's market: don't be afraid of dirt on the potatoes - dirt washes off; if you see bug holes on the greens, it just means that the greens were good enough for the bugs; and it's usually what you can’t see that harms you more than what you can. Pick the best-looking product; ask the farmer if the product was grown on their farm; and find out how it was grown.
It ultimately comes down to developing a relationship with your growers. I hope this resonates with you and gives you something to think about and look for at the market. Remember to eat your veggies!