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Locavores Can Now Find Seasonal Recipes on Epicurious

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Why Seasonal Eating is Eco-Friendly

When a cook in Chicago buys supermarket oranges in February, that fruit isn’t coming from Illinois. In winter, oranges have to be shipped to Chicago shoppers from a warmer state — Florida or Texas, for example — or in some cases another country, like Mexico. Shipping food across several hundred miles requires a lot of energy to power trucks, trains, and storage refrigerators. And most of that energy comes from burning fossil fuels, which creates pollution that contribute to climate change. And foods that must survive being shipped long distances are also sometimes treated with chemicals — like petroleum-based waxes or chemical fungicides — to keep them looking fresh.

Seasonal, locally grown produce, on the other hand, travels a much shorter distance from field to plate. This means local produce often has a smaller carbon footprint than produce imported from afar. And since local produce is usually fresher than imported produce, it requires less preservation, less refrigeration, and tends to lasts longer once you take it home, reducing food waste.

Beyond helping the environment, buying locally grown produce also supports the local economy and helps keep small, family-run farms in business. And, as anyone who has eaten a fresh strawberry or apple just picked from the field or the tree can tell you, super fresh seasonal produce just tastes better than produce that has spent the last few weeks (or months) in storage.

It’s much easier to find fresh, locally grown produce if you already have a general understanding of what locally grown produce ought to be available in your state at any given time of year. So if you’d like to try eating more seasonal produce, but currently don’t know whether local peaches ripen in June or September, give the Epicurious Seasonal Ingredient Map a try.


Related Care2 Articles:

The Dirty Dozen: Which Produce Has the Most Pesticide Residue?

Krispy Kreme Switching to Cage-Free Eggs

Real Food Summer Reading: A Crash Course in Sustainable Eating

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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15 comments

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2:43AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Thank you :)

3:48AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

helpful

1:16PM PDT on Jul 26, 2011

Or...you could just go to your local farmers' market and see what they're selling, buy what you like, then use google to search for recipes using the produce you just bought. Who needs some map that's not even region-specific?

4:50AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:47PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

Good article. Thanks.

10:30AM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

Good idea.

1:24AM PDT on Jul 3, 2011

Thanks for this great info.

10:52AM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

Thanks.

10:13AM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

awesome!

8:14AM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

Seasonal/local is great, but there's more:

Check out my L.O.V.E. for the Environment:

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/env-love.html

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