How to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables?

One of the best ways to encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables is to serve them the produce when it is in season.  When a fruit or vegetable is in season, it just tastes so delicious and fresh, making it easier for the picky children to taste something new, and develop a taste for it.

In the US it is tough to know when fruits and vegetables are in season as they are available all year round in the supermarkets. I loved having access to all the fruits and vegetables all year round when I first moved to this country even though they didn’t taste as good certain times of the year.  Now I realize my folly as I better understand the consequences of my actions. Buying food that has traveled thousands of miles has an impact not only on the environment but also on the health of our kids.  Did you know that every year almost 270 million pounds of Chilean grapes arrive in Los Angeles?  Did you also know that the Chilean grapes travel 5,900 miles in cargo ships and trucks and release 7,000 tons of global warming pollution each year, and enough air pollution to cause dozens of asthma attacks and hundreds of missed school days in California? Wow…. all of a sudden buying grapes year round doesn’t seem all that attractive.  Btw – if you buy grapes from out of the US then make sure to buy them organic as they have very high pesticide content.

So how do you know when something is in season?

Here’s a nifty little tool by National Resources Defense Council that tells you what produce is fresh in your location based on the time of the year.  It makes for a great shopping list to buy only fresh produce. If you happen to live in California, Washington, Iowa, Connecticut, Colorado or Georgia, here’s a great visual showing what’s in season using the data from the tool above.

What am I going to do with this information?

1)   When fruits and vegetables are in season, I am going to cook more recipes using the in season produce.

2)   I am going to freeze the fruits and vegetables that are most eaten in our home when they are in season so I have it on hand in its flavorful state throughout the year.

Other articles you may like:

What produce must I buy organic?

4 ways to reduce pesticide exposure for kids


  1. Laval says:

    Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks :)

  2. organic foods are the best for our health since they are free from dangerous chemicals and toxins ~-.

  3. JAMES SCOTT says:

    What I like about fruits from Chile as opposed to other imported fruits/vegetables, is that produce from Chile is organic, it always has been, they don’t believe in spraying chemicals like we do here, or rubbing their fruits with wax. Also the producers in Chile keep up with the latest technology, hygiene, packaging, and so on. I have visited their plants, therefore, I know what I’m talking about. As far as the ”pollution” the op referred to, well, if this is the case, we should stop importing foreign oil, and since we don’t manufacture anything, we should stop buying products made in China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and so forth. Be very careful buying ”organic” grown in the US, if you do your research you will be surprised that it’s only a label.

  4. Rashmi says:

    Thanks for the info James.. I am certainly going to follow up on the Chile production process. You are also right about US “organic” label, lately there has been so much bad press about sellers just claiming their produce to be organic when it is clearly not at Farmer’s Markets that now I always ask lots of questions before paying a premium on the organic produce.


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