Eating locally and eating in season are two of the most important parts of a sustainable diet, and they really go hand in hand. Eating locally allows you to minimize the number of food miles your purchases travel (it is estimated that most produce sold in the US travels 1500 miles before reaching your table—imagine traveling that far for dinner!), and eating in season is the best way to get the most out of a local diet. Also, your best and most available organic produce will be local and, naturally, in season.
Consult the sources below and get an idea of what your region produces best. Consider becoming a regular at a local farmers’ market, where the produce is guaranteed to be local and in season. Be wary of import labels—many fruits and vegetables commonly bought from a distance, such as apples, are readily available from high quality, nearby sources. Also, think about what you can grow in your own garden—small items like garlic and herbs can easily be cultivated during their own growing seasons. Certain produce will never grow locally—residents of the northern US will always need to get citrus fruit from other places—but by identifying what you can get locally and when it grows, you can minimize your carbon footprint and discover your regional cuisine.
Take Action / Next Steps
Learn more about local and seasonal eating, with guides to growing seasons, here .
Did you know that buying local and in season can be cheaper?
(CSA) systems allow consumers to support local farmers and share the risks and benefits of directly supplied produce. Visit
the USDA National Agricultural Library for more information.