I’ve Given Up

I’ve Given Up

When I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle years ago I was galvanized. It made so much sense. Yes, we should be eating locally-grown and seasonal produce. And while I wasn’t religious about it, this philosophy really did shape how we ate to a large degree — especially when it came to fruit.

Fresh strawberries didn’t cross my threshold until I bought a pint at the Greenmarket in May or June. Same with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, melons, peaches, and nectarines. Come fall I’d buy apples, pears or grapes at the farmer’s market or grocery store. I’d ditch the apples around February and bring home citrus and tropical fruits. By March and April we were living on kiwi and bananas until strawberries rolled around again.

This meant that summers were UH-MAZ-ING when it came to fruit, fall was nice, winter so-so, and spring … not so much.

(Sidenote: Reading Mark Bittman’s story this week about his move to California and the amazing produce there this time of year almost made me weep.)

I’ve complained before about the paucity of spring fruits; this was my solution a few years ago. But this year, I’ve given up. We’re still eating apples with abandon, and I’m buying raspberries and blueberries at the grocery store like it’s July.


Our little family likes to eat a lot of fruit. Dave has three servings a day; Rosa eats one at breakfast and lunch. I usually enjoy one or two. I’ve decided that while I like eating seasonally, it’s more important that my family continue to eat vitamin and fiber-filled fruit, even during this season of un-plenty. Without more options it’s a challenge to keep Rosa and Dave (and me) eating as much as we would otherwise.

Rosa is a surprisingly choosy fruit eater, at least when it comes to what’s in her lunch box. She likes pineapple and mango (sometimes), black grapes (just black!), and berries. Apples and bananas, other fruits she likes, aren’t good lunch box candidates. So I buy the berries.

And don’t get me started on apples. For some reason this year, possibly because I finally jumped on the Honeycrisp bandwagon, I’m crazy for apples. I could eat one every day, plain or with a smear of peanut butter. I’m just not ready to ditch them, at least not while they still taste so good.

I do still have some standards. Store-bought strawberries generally aren’t worth the plastic carton they come in; same with peaches. I’ll wait for the Greenmarket to get my fix. And I promise to give up apples in April (probably).

So, yup, I’ve given up on local and seasonal. At least for spring. At least for now. At least until we move to California. Right, honey?

Jenna Helwig