Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Save Money on Organic Produce: Buy in Season

Image borrowed from Produce for Better Health Foundation website

I hear your cry. Organic produce costs more. So what can you do to bring the goodness of organics to your table? Today, I'll just touch on one primary tactic: Plan your menus and eating around produce that is in season. If you live in the northern hemisphere, we're talking about Winter produce. According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, here are the fruits and vegetables that are in season for December through February:

Apples
Belgian Endive
Bok Choy
Brussels Sprouts
Cherimoya
Chestnuts
Coconuts
Dates
Grapefruit
Kale
Kiwifruit
Leeks
Mushrooms
Oranges
Parsnips
Pear
Persimmons
Pummelo
Radicchio
Red Currents
Rutabagas
Sweet Potatoes
Tangerines
Turnips
Winter Squash

The website I got this list from is a wealth of information. I included the link above because you'll find lots of great information there. They've included topics like storage, nutrients in fruits and vegetables, recipes, reading a label, a recipe sharing section, a kids section, and more. There is also a free newsletter you can sign up for. Check it out.

When you visit your local organic market, you are likely to find many of these fruits and veggies available, simply because they are in season. Better yet, they'll cost less now than during the summer, when, if available, they will be flown in from the southern hemisphere--often Chile. That long flight adds to the cost and the quality. The produce has to be picked early, because it will ripen during shipping. That adds up to lost flavor. Buying produce that is vine ripened will always net you the best flavor, but that means choosing to buy the produce during it's in season.

The bottom line is, buy in season for the best price and the best flavor. Happy shopping!

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