Pumpkins: the iconic fruits (or vegetables depending on who you ask) of fall. Odds are you have seen many a pumpkin product recently, from the infamous PSL to pumpkin chips, pumpkin ice cream, even pumpkin cookie butter (thanks Trader Joe’s). But have you seen pumpkins around in the summer? Although not popular, is it very possible you have, since fruits and vegetables are available pretty much all year in grocery stores due to worldwide shipping.
Although there are some benefits to having produce available year round for healing and specific needs, in general this is a very unsustainable practice. Eating seasonally is better for the environment because it lowers emissions substantially since food in season is grown locally or regionally, and thus transportation from far away is not necessary. Also, seasonal foods save resources in terms of production because it takes less energy and water to grow foods in their ideal climate. By focusing on eating seasonally, one could greatly lower their ecological footprint.
In addition, eating seasonally is very healthy! Seasonal foods are denser in nutrients, since they are fresher and were not picked green in order to ship to you. Also, when they are grown in their natural climates they grow to their fullest healthy potential.
Check out this awesome website for a comprehensive list of seasonal fruits and veggies! Keep in mind that seasonal foods vary depending on your region.
Here are some of my personal favorite fall fruits and vegetables to enjoy: squash, apples, cherries, cauliflower, ginger, grapes, celery, cranberries. And of course, pumpkin!
So feel free to continue indulging in the carotenoid-rich fruit of the season. Just make sure you are done packing in the pumpkin bread once winter rolls around.