Healthier Plate

5 Reasons to Eat Local, Seasonal Foods

Jun 29, 2018

By Renell Cronk, RDN, LDN

June is National Fruits and Vegetables Month, so let’s take a look at some of the benefits of eating local, seasonal produce.

Eating seasonally means that you are eating foods in your diet that are grown at that same time of year. Seasonal products are, of course, not always local. So why is it better to eat both local and seasonal?

Eating local, in season produce is fresher, tastes better and is more nutrient dense. Local produce is picked at its peak ripeness, spends less time in transit from farm to table, and doesn’t spoil as quickly.  You might be surprised to know that fruits and vegetables still “live” even after they are picked. In a process known as respiration, they continue to “breathe” which breaks down stored organic materials, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and leads to loss of food value, flavor and nutrients.

Eating local, in season is better for the consumer. When you buy in season, you are buying food that is in peak production, which means costs go down and you save money. A bonus is better taste and more nutrient rich food!

Eating local, in season is better for the farmer. Support the local farmers, as well as helping to create local jobs at the farms, processing facilities and distribution centers. Buying local produce also helps to maintain farmland and green space in your area.

Eating local, in season is better for the community. Spending money locally helps to build the local economy instead of spending money with corporations that exist in in another city, state or country.  There are often added benefits to other local businesses in the supply chain as well.

Eating local, in season is better for the environment. Eating items out of season typically means those foods are being shipped from another country. This can have a negative impact on the carbon footprint, due to the use of fuel and greenhouse gases.

What’s In Season Now?

Now that you know the benefits, how do you find out what food is in season and local? Check out the local produce stands you drive by, or take a trip to your local farmers market.

Here is a list of foods that are in season during the month of June in Texas, along with a couple recipes to help you get started with you local, in season eating.











Sweet Peppers

Hot Peppers



Baby Arugula

Sweet Corn

Green Beans

Red Potatoes

Sweet potatoes






Culinary Herbs


To find out more on what produce is in season during different months in Texas, click here.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes using fresh, local veggies.

Grilled Leeks

Adapted from Food Network


  • Fresh Leeks

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut each leek in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry. Brush the cut side of each leek half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/pepper. Grill over direct, high heat, cut side down, with lid closed, approximately 6 to 7 minutes or until grill marks appear.

Carrot Cucumber Slaw

Adapted from For the Love of Cooking


  • 1 large cucumber

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp water

  • 1/2 tsp honey

  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Use a julienne peeler or grater to shred the cucumber and carrots into long strips. Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl, along with both vinegars, water, sugar, and sesame oil. Toss to coat evenly. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro. Chill until ready to serve.

About the Author
Renell Cronk is a Registered Dietitian with PsyMed, Inc. She helps educate and prepare Nicholson Clinic patients before and after surgery with meal planning, recipe ideas, nutrition education and more. Nothing gives Renell a greater feeling of accomplishment and joy than helping individuals achieve their health, lifestyle and nutrition goals.