We often hear about seasonal fruits, but do you know exactly what that means? Fruits are in season simply when they experience a peak in harvest under natural conditions. At that time, fruits are the freshest and their flavours the best. Living in Hong Kong is convenient in that we can easily get all kinds of fruits from around the world. Gradually though, we might start to forget how and why we should appreciate seasonal fruits. As the “seasonal” concept becomes blurred, let us remind you the benefits of getting seasonal fruits!
- They taste better
Fruits are simply more delicious when they are in season. As they are freshly harvested when ripe, they are especially fresh, with nutritional values and flavours locked in. In contrast, those which are not in season are usually from further abroad, and go through a long journey of transportation and storage after harvest. They also tend to be harvested prematurely, frozen for transportation, then artificially ripened before they are sold. After the tough journey, their flavour, texture and nutritional values are severely impacted.
- They cost less
Buying seasonal fruits means buying them at the peak of their supplies. As a result, they tend to be cheaper at this time of year. You’ll spend even less if you choose local produce as transportation fees are further reduced. If you would rather have non-seasonal foods, be prepared for a higher prices. Not only is there a more limited supply, the cost of storing fruits long-term and off-season are probably shifted to you, the consumer.
- They provide suitable nutrients to you
Nutritional value is the highest when food is in season as nutrients such as Vitamins have not yet been lost during transportation and storage. They also provide you with nutrients that may be especially beneficial in different seasons. In the Winter, for example, seasonal citrus fruits provide us abundant amounts of Vitamin C which boosts our immune system. On the other hand, seasonal fruits in summer contain more sugar so they provide us with more energy to enjoy a vibrant summer!
- They are safer to eat and more environmentally-friendly
Some farmers may extend the shelf-life of the non-seasonal fruits by waxing, radiating, and adding additives to them. On the contrary, seasonal fruits require less preservative interventions. Therefore, they tend to contain less or even no preservatives and chemicals, which make them safer to eat. Furthermore, the amount of harmful gases and chemicals produced during food preservation are reduced. Chemicals such as pesticides are can also be used less on seasonal fruits as they are naturally more resilient to the threats that can occur at that particular time of year.
As a result, consuming seasonal fruits is more environmentally-friendly. You can go further by getting locally-produced seasonal fruits since consuming local produces reduces the carbon footprint and cost involved during production, transportation and storage.
There are loads of reasons why you should eat seasonal foods: they are fresh, tasty, nutritious, and good for your health. The remaining question is which fruits are in season right now. You cannot go wrong by choosing longans – which are produced locally or in neighbouring areas in southern China. Ripening from July to August, their aroma and refreshing taste make them popular during summer. If you don’t mind going further, peaches are also iconic fruits in high summer. Ripening from June to September, they are sweet and juicy to enjoy.
We hope you’ve learnt a thing or two about the importance of choosing seasonal fruits. Now go get yourself some wonderful fruits and enjoy the summer!
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