The Green Girl’s Guide to Winter Produce

Cute veggie handler is always in season.

If you ask any environmentalist what you should eat to go green, they almost always will mention in-season produce.  I, like most of us, love the idea of eating fresh vegetables that haven’t been genetically modified to grow year round.

The only problem with eating in-season vegetables?  I have no freakin’ idea which vegetables are in season!  This holds especially during the colder months, when I, a California native, just assume that everything everywhere else is buried underneath a good 5 feet of snow.  In case you, like me, are utterly clueless when it comes to veggies, I have compiled a handy little guide to make the most educated choices when you’re at your neighborhood farmers market (because that’s obvi where you’re shopping, right??).

Why should I care? In season fruits and vegetables cure cancer.  Okay, not really, but they are still better for your health because they’re less likely to be doused in chemicals.  In-season crops are meant to grow during that time, meaning that they need less manmade help in order to thrive.  They’re also better for the environment because they’re less likely to be shipped from a faraway place that has the perfect growing climate for that crop.  Plus, they just taste better without all of that icky stuff all over it.

What do I need to know? Buying in season is great, but buying locally in season is best.  Head to your neighborhood farmer’s market and buy from the small, local farmers.  They’re less likely to spend money on genetically modified crops and pesticides that keep out of season plants alive, so it’s a greater guarantee that you’ll be putting your money towards those in-season crops.

How do I know which crops are in season? There are some great websites that can provide all of that information for you with the click of a mouse.  My favorite is Sustainable Table because it’s really easy and informative.  Just put in your state, select which month it is and, viola (!), it’s all done for you.

What if I’m just too lazy? Here are a list of crops that are generally in season during the winter months.  Keep in mind that these may or may not be in season in your region, so be sure to double check at Sustainable Table.  For quick reference, winter crops may include…

Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Onions
Leeks
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Radishes
Greens: Spinach, Arugula, Lettuce, Kale, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens
Turnips
Winter Squash
Apples (early winter only)

What if I hate those foods? Get over it!  I’m guessing that most of us haven’t tried most of the crops on that list.  So suck it up, get creative, and eat yummy food!  I promise, anything can taste good with a few spices and the right recipe.  Plus, adding variety to your diet can really improve your nutritional status.  So dig in and have fun!

Holiday Gifts For Your Fashionista Friends
Holiday Gifts For Your Fashionista Friends
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