Seasonal foods are crops that are purchased and consumed around the time that it is harvested. If you are purchasing foods such as corn, melons, and tomatoes in Ohio in mid-July at farm stands or farmers markets, the chances are good that you are buying them shortly after local farmers have harvested them.

Seasonal food is fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Even though we all like to eat strawberries year-round, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower shortly after harvest. Seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms are often fresher, as they do not require long distances for transport. Also, unlike out of season produce which is harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store, crops picked at their peak of ripeness are also better tasting and full of flavor. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when allowed to ripen naturally on their parent plant.

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