Eating local is not a novel 21st century fad although the top trend of chef’s in 2010 was sourcing local ingredients.
This shift may feel monumental but merely a few generations ago, people were living and eating simply. The foods used to make dinner were often from local farms and were consequently seasonal.
While the convenience of super-markets and processed food is undeniable, it should not dictate our eating habits. According to the Cleveland Clinic, seasonal eating “connects us to the calendar and often to one another.” That romantic notion of the simpler days becomes a reality.
Although seasonal food doesn’t always mean it’s local, local almost always has to be in season. Local food markets can provide consumers with truly seasonal foods if they do not want to be as proactive as some by creating a source of their own.
One bold benefit of seasonal food is that “produce picked and eaten at its peak generally has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.
These perks of seasonal foods don’t stop at the health benefits or the warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia.
TIME attributes this sudden reconnection with food to pleasure. Before the health, political and environmental concerns that are dominating the scene today, the food movement’s main concern was with making food taste better.
This simple notion may also help to keep the green movement alive in the face of a rough political climate.
Put simply, TIME writer Bryan Walsh states in his article, Foodies can eclipse (and save) the green movement, “there’s the simple fact that food is present in our lives in a way that endangered species or deforestation or Arctic melting simply aren’t.”
The emotional and sometimes spiritual connection that humans have with food is deeply ingrained. The reversion to locally grown seasonal foods satisfies people in a way that is immediate. They feel and taste the difference.
If the former benefits are not enough, often season foods are cheaper. They do not require the costs of shipping or preserving that out of season foods do.