Crisp air, early morning frost, clear blue skies… I hope this August leaves you feeling well-nourished!
August is by far the bleakest month in Gauteng – winter is dragging its dusty, dry feet… But nature’s resting season is almost over and excitement is in the air as we approach the spring equinox on the 22nd of September!
South Africa has a variety of climatic conditions and three divergent rainfall regions across the country – thus, we always have a wide variety of fresh, seasonal produce. Luckily August is no exception! We are fortunate enough to have the last of the winter fruit and vegetables, and slowly (but surely!) the spring produce is sneaking in.
With all the gifts of modern society comes a curse: we have become used to year-round availability of just about everything we wish for – we have lost touch with seasonal produce. But eating a diet that follows nature’s natural rhythms makes perfect sense.
There are several benefits to eating seasonally:
- Optimum nutrition: Fruit and vegetables grown and consumed during their appropriate seasons are more nutritionally dense because Mother Nature provides us with the specific nutrients needed for any particular time in the year. For example: citrus fruit occur in winter and, with their abundant vitamin-C, they are exactly what our bodies need during the season of colds and flus.
- Environmentally friendly: seasonal produce doesn’t come with the hefty carbon footprint of having to be flown from halfway across the world!
- Cost efficient: the basic rules of supply and demand count: in season produce costs less because it is readily available.
- Richer flavour: seasonal produce tastes better since it has been naturally ripened by the weather conditions it’s most suited to and hasn’t been refrigerated for extended periods of time.
- Variety: each season brings something new to look forward to.
- Supporting our local farmers: buying locally supports the farmers in South Africa.
Between cold storage and greenhouse cultivation, a lot of the fruit and vegetables we consume are not seasonal. Did you know, as apples age (during months of cold storage), their cells lose moisture and the “glue” holding the cells together weakens? Why sentence ourselves to eating foods that don’t satisfy and nourish us?
Our August shopping cart:
Mother Nature has provided us with a variety of delicious fruit and vegetables to get us through the last days of winter. Let’s make the most of it!
Written by Margie Fallon
Find me on Instagram: @healthylicious_nutrition