“Our bodies have also adapted to eating what is in season. So, I would suggest buying fruits and vegetables that are grown locally in that particular season. Mango season is going to start and it is completely fine to have it now. But eating mangoes in October or November, when it is off-season, is not good. Even if you see mangoes available during that period, it means that you are consuming stored mangoes,” says Archana.
She says that some farmers don’t even take the risk of growing something out of that season. “If I am only growing seasonal fruits and veggies, then my inputs are very less. Naturally, the plants adapt and grow well. Nutrition content will also be high. But, if a farmer is growing something that’s off-season, then he/she has to add chemicals to make sure that it is available throughout the year. The cost of production is high and it also impacts the environment. The products will not be fresh and you won’t get the actual benefits. Standardisation of food is one of the problems that we face today and that’s why experts emphasise buying local and seasonal,” stresses the farmer.
Archana points out that some people are aware of the importance of seasonal and stick to that. “Our body should have a balance. One of the main reasons why experts suggest eating seasonally is that the food will be fresher and more nutritious than food consumed out of season,” shares Archana.
Food technologist Maria Jenita opines that one’s body responds according to the change in seasons. “It is advised to have seasonal fruits and veggies because we will get all vitamins and nutrients our body needs in that particular season. Also, seasonal foods will be cultivated organically — a farmer doesn’t need to put in more effort to grow them. The foods that are available to us round the clock are made available through various processes like cold storage and cannot even be compared to foods that are freshly produced. Off-season foods have to travel much longer as compared to seasonal fruits and vegetables. Research has proved that the same food will carry different nutritional values depending upon when it has been produced. In a study conducted by the food technology department of Anna University, Chennai, it was found that nutrients and a few antioxidants are comparatively low in non-seasonal foods,” says Maria Jenita.