Along with 30 minutes three times a week on your treadmill or bike, doctors are constantly recommending that we eat more fresh vegetables and fruits. However, they often don't specify whether local or imported produce is better for your health. Are there any scientific reasons that eating produce that comes from afar is a better choice than that which comes from local farms? There are indeed many reasons why you should choose local fruit over imported fruit. Besides helping the local economy, locally grown fruits provide unique health benefits because they are fresh, seasonal and safer than the alternative.
Fruit that is imported spends a lot of time sitting in crates in freights or planes to get to your grocery store. On the other hand, most fruit is picked fresh off the vine or tree and delivered to your local grocery store or farmer's market by industrial vehicles. This reduces the number of days or weeks that the produce is in transit and ensures that you get the freshest fruit. Fresh fruit is more nutritional for many reasons: it contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than imported fruit. After a fruit is picked, its levels of nutrition decline over time. Similarly, stale fruit loses water content and starts to shrivel. One of the great benefits of eating fresh fruit is the high water content, along with the other great enzymes and nutritional nuggets. So, if a vegetable takes two days longer to get to the store than it's local alternative does, it is more likely to be stale by the time those residents have a chance to eat it.
Fresh Ontario fruit is bound to be seasonal, and while you may be tempted by imported fruits that are out of season locally, sticking to in-season local produce has many benefits. The fruits you buy in season are going to be the freshest and also the best for your health. Scientific research and experimental development have shown that your body is designed to eat certain foods during a given time of the year, and it follows the cycles of nature. Eating watermelon in the middle of January might be fun, but your body is probably not craving its nutrients. By eating sweet fruits like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in the summer, you give your body what it needs to protect itself from the summer sun. Eating peaches and pears during their natural season gives your body a boost to the immune system that prepares it for the coming months of colder weather. Apples are great for the winter because they help clean you out and help you keep weight off during the winter months. Eating seasonally is the way Mother Nature intended us to eat. Eating pumpkin pie at any time other than the fall, when the pumpkins are freshly and locally harvested, would be going against nature.
When you choose locally grown fruit, you are ensuring that you get only the best in produce quality and safety. When you buy fruit from your trusted neighbourhood farmers, you know exactly what you are getting. If you're living near the country, like in Lindsay, Ontario real estate you may even know some of the people growing that produce! You can trust the agricultural methods, sanitation practices and packaging of local farmers.