Benefits of Eating Seasonally + Spring Produce

Benefits of Eating Seasonally + Spring Produce

“My first reason for cooking seasonally is because of flavor….When you cook based on season, you are in tune with the earth and what it’s offering to you rather than forcing it to produce something that’s not right for that time and place. By eating seasonally you are also helping out your local farmer.  You avoid relying on other locations for out of season ingredients and are significantly cutting down on transport time (which is a win for the environment!). Lastly, but maybe the most important, farmers do not need to use as many pesticides, if any at all, to help a plant grow if it’s not in season.  This is beneficial to soil health and our own.” says Lauren Zito.

Lauren Zito is a graduate of the International Culinary Institute, with training in Umbria, and has formerly worked in the kitchens of Maialino and Felidia in NYC, among years of private cheffing. Lauren draws inspiration from her Sicilian roots and a Mediterranean style diet, including organic, local, whole foods, and practices being environmentally conscious when choosing ingredients.

“Take tomatoes for example. They have their full potential to ripen and sweeten under the sun in the late summer months here in NY.  I rarely eat them out of season because they taste bland and can ruin a dish.”

Another factor would be that the plant has more time to fully develop antioxidants which makes it healthier than out of season produce.
— Lauren Zito, Chef

Specificity to location

“Specific types of produce can only grow in certain areas and climates” Lauren highlights.

What is in season in NY might not be in season at the same time in Sydney, Dubai or London. Therefore be aware of what is seasonal in your general region, or where the produce is originating from.

Lauren explains that “avocados for example need a sunny, warm climate to thrive. NYC gets their avocados from Mexico where they are available year round, California when they are available from early Spring through end of summer and Florida.”

Is there a difference between seasonal and local?

Yes, but usually if you are buying local it will be seasonal.

Non-organic produce that is in season, is almost organic…

“If [the produce is] in season it doesn't need as much help to grow from chemical treatment.  It’s always good to know where your food is coming from this way you will be aware of the farmers’ practices and if they use pesticides..” explains Lauren.

Photo: Gina Lombardo Media

Photo: Gina Lombardo Media

Spring produce to look forward to:

Lauren says “Spring produce will hit the market around early April through late June”. At least on this side of the equator. For our friends in countries such as South Africa, Australia, and Brazil, Spring appears to be in the months of September to November.

Some of Lauren’s favorite Spring produce includes:

  • Ramps

  • Nettles

  • Fiddleheads

  • Morels

  • Fava beans

  • Sorrel

Other amazing Spring produce include:


  • Apricots

  • Honeydew

  • Jackfruit

  • Lychee

  • Mango

  • Oranges

  • Strawberries

  • Cherries

  • Pummelo

  • Tangerines


  • Carrots

  • Peas

  • Asparagus

  • Arugula

  • Beets

  • Cabbage

  • Broccoli

  • Bok Choy

  • Chard

  • Cauliflower

  • Herbs

  • Endive

  • Garlic

  • Green Onion / Spring Onion

  • Leeks

  • Mushrooms

  • Rhubarb

  • Turnips

Lauren’s favorite ways to enjoy her favorite spring produce:

“My absolute favorites are making ramps into a pesto for pasta and adding sautéed morels, turning fresh Fava beans into a light soup, and tossing sorrel with roasted nuts and a lemony vinaigrette.”


Photo courtesy of Lauren Zito

Photo courtesy of Lauren Zito

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