Eating with the Seasons

“Seasonality is about the pursuit of flavor.” -Odessa Piper

March is National Nutrition Month! This month at my dietetic internship I am focusing on promoting and educating people on the importance of eating locally and seasonally. So throughout March I will be providing everyone with information regarding these 2 topics!


Today’s global market allows us to buy foods grown anywhere in the world all-year long – leaving grocery store shelves stocked with strawberries in the winter and root vegetables in the summer. But just because you CAN buy out-of-season produce year-round, doesn’t mean you should. Have you ever noticed the difference in flavor of a fresh tomato when you buy one in the dead of winter (bland and mealy) compared to the flavor of the same product in the summer (sweet and juicy)? Purchasing out-of-season produce comes at the cost of flavor, quality and freshness.

Not only does cooking with seasonal produce save money (because – supply and demand), but it also encourages you to expand your weekly at-home menu and experiment with new ingredients. And when you finally have the opportunity to bite into a sweet summer berry in June, the wait will have been well worth it!

An important part of buying local is making an effort to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season in your area. Although today’s global market allows us to buy foods grown anywhere in the world all year long, these options are not always the most sustainable.

  • Eat produce seasonally – Buy local fruits and vegetables when available rather than purchasing the same food from 3,000 miles away. Different produce is in season depending on where you live, click here to find out what’s in season near you. Check out the In Season page to see what Illinois has to offer year-round. Farmer’s market season is just around the corner, so it is important that you know what to look for!
  • Eat beef seasonally – Beef and other red meats are more plentiful in the fall and winter. Fall is when these animals fatten themselves up for the wintertime. Our bodies seem to crave these foods when they are in season, so this is the best time to buy and eat beef. Lots of farmers’ markets carry local beef products that you can purchase and store in the freezer to enjoy the rest of the year.
  • Eat eggs and poultry seasonally – Poultry tend to be more plentiful in the summer and hens lay more eggs in the spring. Look for eggs, chicken, and turkey at your farmers’ market this spring and summer.
  • Eat nuts seasonally – Many people don’t think of nuts growing from plants, but they do and they typically ripen in the fall. Nuts are best when eaten in the fall and winter. Nothing welcomes the cool seasons like roasting nuts on the fire.

For more information regarding seasonal eating check out and

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