We just launched a new poster over at our sister site Post Ratio, where we create products that are meant to truly enhance our lives—not just fill our spaces. Here, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how and why we’ve created the The Bountiful Year poster to help you eat seasonally, plus insight into how you can best use it.
There are many factors that contribute to your overall well-being, both internally and externally. You don’t have control over everything, but you can take control of how you care for your body. Creating a strong foundation of good sleep, diet, and exercise is one of the simplest ways to improve your mood and health.
We’ve become more and more eager to bring balance into our lives (and yours), so we’ve been looking at ways to help us master these things. First, we created our sleep tracking posters for adults and babies. Now we’ve come up with something to help you master your diet: a simple poster to help you eat seasonally.
Why It’s Smart to Eat Seasonally
We all want to eat more healthily, but the whole conversation around nutrition can be overwhelming. There are a ton of diets that people swear by—vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo, Whole30, etc. Each has their selling points, but we like to keep things simple. We know firsthand that any time you want to make a significant change in life, it’s easier to start small. That’s why we’ve been trying to eat seasonally, inspired by the Japanese practice of “shun” (the philosophy that every food should be eaten only in its proper season, at the peak of its flavor).
Eating seasonally is a practice that anyone can easily incorporate into their life—and it come with many notable benefits:
- It tastes better. Fresh fruits and veggies are most delicious at the height of their season. If you tend to choose processed, sugary snacks over fresh fruit due to taste, you might change your mind when you bite into a luscious, juicy, and ripe strawberry.
- It’s cheaper. When items are in season, there’s a larger supply and, thus, they’re cheaper. When out of season, you’re paying more to cover the costs of what it took to get the produce to your store.
- It’s more nutritious. When you buy at peak season, you’re getting fruits and veggies at their most mature, most nutrient-packed stage. When you buy off-season, you’re buying produce that is picked before it matures so that it can survive the long journey to your grocery store. (For example, according to the Cleveland Clinic, eating spinach in season gives you up to three times more vitamin C than eating it out of season.)
- You try new things. When you eat seasonally, you have a great excuse to expand your culinary horizons. When you see something in season that you’re not familiar with or don’t eat often, you have an exciting opportunity to experiment with new flavors and dishes. This not only expands your palate but helps you get a variety of nutrients into your diet—especially important if you tend to eat the same things over and over.
If you’ve been looking to improve your diet even slightly, eating seasonally is the way to do it. That said, knowing what to buy when can be a challenge. That’s why we created The Bountiful Year poster, a simple guide to help you decipher which fruits and veggies you should pick up at different times of the year.
How to Use The Bountiful Year Poster
We like to create designs that make life easier, so this poster is all about functionality. It features a detailed visual calendar of when both common and uncommon produce is available in your store. That way, you have an at-a-glance guide to eat seasonally—instead of having to scroll through an app or hunt down info online.
We also wanted it to be robust, so we included 101 common and uncommon items, from classic strawberries and basil to rambutan and kohlrabi. (Not sure what those are? A perfect reason to experiment. In fact, we suggest you make it a mission to try everything on the list at least once).
To make it easy to find what you’re looking for, we broke things down simply. On the left you’ll find guidelines for fruits, on the right you’ll find guidelines for veggies. (Note, because California grows about 80% of all fruits and vegetables in the U.S., these guidelines were based off of California seasons. These may vary if you’re buying locally elsewhere.)
Each section outlines when you can find each item in season (whether spring, summer, winter, or fall), helping you meal plan around availability. We also know you sometimes get a craving or use a recipe that requires something that is off season; thus, we also included times when produce is likely available, although not peak season.
Our goal was to make a guide that was both useful and beautiful (and with elegant metallic green foil stamping on quality Mohawk Carnival paper, we think we did). You can hang it as a framed print in your kitchen, or even hang it on your fridge and check items off the list if you’re ambitious enough to try it all. How you use it is entirely up to you, although you might be inspired to use it as a guide for:
- Dinner party planning
- Everyday meal planning
- Snack ideas
- Baking challenge (what sweets can you make with the fruits?)
It’s really up to you. Just make your list, and head to the store.
Above all, we hope you find this guide helpful. And if there are any fruits or veggies you’d like to see, let us know and we might consider adding them in the future.
C5 + PR