Fresh, Seasonal Holiday Feasts


This festive time of year offers many opportunities to enjoy special meals with friends and family. It is also a great time to try new recipes that highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Eating foods that are in-season are more nutritious – they are picked at their peak of freshness and are more nutrient dense – and are more likely to be grown closer to home. Luckily, year-round agricultural production in San Diego county results in fresh, seasonal foods and supports a vibrant food system in the region. A food system is the path that food travels from “farm to fork”. 

Here in San Diego, Live Well San Diego’s Food System Initiative supports an efficient and equitable food system to provide opportunities for all residents to have access to fresh, healthy food. As part of this work, the Initiative recently released the State of the Food System for the San Diego Region 2019 Report. The report provides an in-depth look at our local food system and the role it plays in people’s health and wellbeing, and its effect on environmental sustainability and the economic welfare of society.

Here are some ways that we can all support our local food system as we prepare holiday meals:

1.      Visit and shop at local Certified Farmer’s Markets and the Fishermen’s Market.

2.      Give San Diego local varieties of seafood a try! Ask for locally sourced seafood at markets.

3.      Track wasted food and reduce portion sizes at home by using’s “Guest-imater”.

4.      Freeze or find ways to re-use leftovers. The SaveTheFood website has tips galore, from “Five Ways to Revive Food,” to “10 Easy Tips for Meal Planning,” to “Cooking with Food Scraps.”

5.      Donate excess edible food at your local pantry of food bank. For more information, visit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s Donation Drop Off or the Feeding San Diego Donate Food webpages.

There are 36 Certified Farmer’s Markets and 21 farm stands that provide access to fresh, seasonal foods throughout the region. You can find the closest Certified Farmer’s Market to your home here.

Have a happy holiday season and enjoy your locally sourced, fresh festive feasts with loved ones!