There are so many reasons (health, taste, cost) to buy fruit and veggies that are locally grown and in season. That is assuming that you are eating fruit and veggies at all–according to an NPR report, generated from Bureau of Labor Statistics data, we spend almost 30% of our grocery dollars on processed foods and sweets (compared with less than 12% in 1982), and less than 15% on produce.
There are tons of factors that go into that shift, the least of which Mr. Bloomberg is the size of soda (you are treating the symptom not the disease). The first steps are making these foods more available in all areas and finding ways to prepare them that work with your taste buds, but it’s also helpful to know what is in season where you live at what time of year. There have been countless articles written on the topic, but unless you cut them out, pin them, or commit the information to memory, they do you little good when your shopping or planning your menus.
My husband and I plan our meals for the week and make the shopping list every Sunday, but it’s more driven by our favorite roster of 15 or so meals and the weather (i.e. It’s too hot for chili) than what’s in season. I’ve been wanting to change that for a long time–especially after I unwittingly spent $7 on a bunch of asparagus. The chart below is helpful, but even more handy is the Local Foods Wheel (it’s $13 and is available right now for New York Metro area, San Francisco Bay area, and Upper Midwest). (You can buy the New York one at the McNally Jackson Bookstore in SoHo–a great independent non-chain, non-amazon bookseller!) *
*note: these are not paid promotions–I just like these things!