Welcome to June, everybody! We’ve made it another year around the sun, and it’s time to reap the spoils of summertime. Not only does summer mean vacation getaways and a great excuse to eat all the ice cream, it also means more yummy fruits and vegetables are coming into season.
We’ve talked about the perks of buying seasonally before, but they’re worth mentioning again. Eating in harmony with the seasons benefits the health of both people and the planet, primarily because the carbon footprint of seasonal foods is lower than their non-seasonal counterparts’. Since they’re already ripe and ready in your local region, seasonal foods don’t have to travel very far to get to your grocery store. Foods that aren’t in season, on the other hand, need to be shipped thousands of miles from where they are in season to places they don’t grow during certain times of the year. That transportation contributes tons of carbon emissions to the atmosphere.
Seasonal foods are also fresher and more nutrient-packed than others. Not to mention, crops that are picked at the peak of their ripeness taste way better!
So, without further ado, here are some of the yummiest foods that are coming into season in North America this summer. Check out your grocery store — or better yet, your local farmers’ market — for these ingredients!
Photo by Kolby Milton
Photo by Gabriel Gurrola
Vegetables & Herbs
• Bell peppers
• Bok Choy
• Fava beans
• New potatoes
• Spring onions
• Zucchini and summer squash
While these foods are coming into season throughout most of North America, you may want to check out the Seasonal Food Guide to find out what’s seasonal in your specific region. You can filter your search by state, month, and type of produce.
Seasonal foods can be found in your grocery store, but you’ll have better luck going to a local farmer’s market or ordering through a CSA (community supported agriculture) network. CSA networks consist of farms that offer regular deliveries of locally-grown produce during harvest seasons. Many of them offer subscriptions and memberships, which makes them a great option for those looking to continually replenish their stock of seasonal produce. You can find a local CSA using the national directory here.
In need of some seasonal recipe inspo? This watermelon salad is a staff favorite, and we’re also huge fans of harvesting local strawberries to create these delicious parfaits. The Real Food Encyclopedia is also a fantastic resource for learning about the nutritional value and environmental footprint of seasonal foods — and it’ll give you some tips for cooking them as well.
Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She writes largely about sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty, wellness, and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Los Angeles, CA.