France In Season

The French have very different eating habits than Americans. The French have a purely love-love relationship with food instead of the love-hate relationship that Americans have because of fast food and obesity. It could be because French people insist on buying the freshest ingredients from their local source at the market. Endless rows of colorful vegetables and fragrant cheeses can be truly mesmerizing, not to mention mouth-watering.

Lyonnais Market, personal photo

Metropolitan French cities have dozens of fresh-food markets year round. The French city of Lyon has at least 3 markets open on any day of the week. Some of these markets run daily and are generally preferred over supermarchés (supermarkets like Kroger or Casino) or hypermarchés (hypermarkets like Walmart or Carrefour) by the French. Buying locally at a market isn’t only fresher, healthier and environmentally more efficient, but it is generally less expensive than grocery stores.

So how do the French stay healthy with this abundance of food? Some say it’s because they walk everywhere. Others believe the nicotine keeps them thin. But more likely, it could be that they buy and eat according to the season. Popular French author, Mireille Guiliano, gave away the French eating secrets in her books, French Women Don’t Get Fat and French Woman For All Seasons. Guiliano suggests that eating fresh and seasonal foods from the market is healthier and promotes outdoor exercise.

“Seasonality is far more than knowing what’s in season and appreciating nature’s best from month to month. Seasonality is a manner of being that is responsive to all conditions and stimulations of our environment throughout the year.” – Mireille Guiliano French Women for All Seasons p. 34