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Seasonal shopping

Being able to eat whatever we want whenever we want is convenient, but it is not great for our environment. And it can be expensive and tasteless. Food that is not in season has usually travelled huge distances to get to us. A typical selection of the foods we buy in Victoria has travelled an estimated 21,073 kilometres (Environment Victoria). That is almost the same distance as travelling the whole coastline of Australia.

The benefits of seasonal shopping

Seasonal produce is abundant, tends to cost less, and has reduced transport and storage costs.

A great place to start when selecting seasonal produce is your local greengrocer or farmers market. They will know not only what is in season but also what is good (or not) this year. You can also check the Melbourne page of the seasonal food guide Australia for a list to suit the local growing season.

By choosing to buy seasonal produce, you are choosing food for your family that has vivid colour, is full of nutrients and bursting with flavour. Buying seasonal foods supports local growers and producers and keeps Australian farms thriving.

By comparison, out of season produce is harvested early to ensure they do not rot before reaching market. While this means that the food might look good when you buy it, it actually hasn’t had enough time for taste and nutrients to properly develop.

Out of season produce must also be transported long distances from the farm to market. This results in lots of greenhouse gasses from its transportation. These foods often need to be refrigerated too, using more energy and producing additional emissions.

Depending on the produce, packaging may also be required to protect it on its journey to market. Further energy, water and resources are needed to produce this additional packaging, which often ends up in landfill.