Seasonal Produce, from a Millennial Perspective

Millennial-Girl

I’m a health-conscious-yoga-instructor-foodie-Millennial and an undergraduate student living in Chicago. Yes, I know my personal headline sounds like a granola-y social media bio, but that’s who I am to my core. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking the freshest foods are a part of my DNA.

I was born and raised in Pasadena, California into a family of doctors and a dynasty of fresh produce farmers, salad marketers and manufacturers. And as you know, California is the prime home of seasonal cooking with fresh, native produce. [Think: Alice Waters, her famous Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse, and her involvement in the Edible Schoolyard Project and the Slow Food Movement.]

I make seasonal produce a priority while grocery shopping. I try to purchase whatever fruits and vegetables are in season. My food-educated, California-self constantly wonders why some produce that is not in season is available during off-seasons and some year-round.

Why is watermelon available mid-winter? Butternut squash in March? Apples and carrots year round?

Click here to view my favorite seasonal produce graphic.

I was curious to know if other Millennials in Chicago also pondered the same questions, so I worked with Go Clean Label to survey fellow college students in Chicago to gather popular Millennial opinions on availability of seasonal produce.

Check out the below results.

Question #1

 

Question #2

 

Question #3

Follow up question: How do you think this is made possible?

“Other countries in different seasons and climates than the US ship what they have in season—fruits and veggies ‘out of season’ for the US.”

“Some places are working on indoor growing methods, but I would assume that they are brought in from other warmer/cooler climates.”

Question #4

Follow up question: “How do you feel about chemical preservatives being used in the fruits and vegetables you consume?”

“I would like to know what’s on my food when I’m consuming it. If chemicals were used I think a warning label should be required”

“I would prefer to be able to eat them without preservatives, but because of the transportation of food I understand they can be useful”

“Mixed. We wouldn’t have a lot of produce in stores without preservatives but by consuming these items we are adding unnatural ingredients to our bodies.”