Come season, you see the old produce be replaced by new, and every season has its specific fruits and vegetables. There are a lot of benefits of eating in-season that go beyond just being healthy.
Some vegetables and fruits cannot be produced in certain seasons without the help of technology or without being genetically modified. They produce that is made available through the year are cold stored and are not as good as fresh produce.
Since off-season fruits or vegetables travel from much longer, they are made to look fresh by coating them in wax (like apples) or by harvesting them prematurely to deliver on time to the market, both of which are unhealthy.
And on top of that, produce loses its nutritional value the longer they are not consumed. And the reason eating seasonal produce is good is that they help the body adapt to the season.
Like winter produce, such as oranges and lemons, are high in Vitamin C. They help the body battle cold and flu. They also aid in tissue repair and are high in fiber.
Another example is summer fruits. Watermelon, strawberries and peaches are high in water content, which helps decrease dehydration and protect from the sun. They have important minerals and salts the body needs during the heat.
As mentioned above, off season produce is either stored for long or is harvested too soon, if the delivery is very far. This increases the price of the produce. And on top of that, if no one ends up buying the vegetables it ends up in the trash for either going bad or to make space for newer vegetables. Which is a waste of food and resources that went in to help make that produce, like money, seed, fertilizers. The next batch is sold with a hike in price to make up for the loss.
The longer the food is in transit, the longer it sits with a top layer of pesticides. And the produce will be sprayed repeatedly if the destination is in another state. This also means that if one apple goes bad, all the rest will slowly go bad too. This opens up the produce to insects, rot and fungus if they are not properly stored.
When you eat seasonally you depend on local producers instead of commercial harvesters, which means that the money goes to them. This also decreased the need for transportation and storage and saved them a lot of money and other resources. They then have more money in hand, which enables them to invest more in their plot.
This off-season production is a relatively new thing and a development that is certainly not for the better. Something that our ancestors did was for the general betterment like eating in-season. And I think this one thing should be continued, for the sake of our health and for the local economy.