Eating local, eating in season, eating organic, eating sustainable--suddenly it seems there are a lot of "rules" about the best way to nosh and indulge. It's even hard to keep up with what food is legal or illegal in some parts of the world. Depending on where you live, you might have a cornucopia of options year-round, or you might be stuck with rotating the same five foods during those tough winter months.

Are you really stuck with that though? Several startups are changing how we eat through the seasons, offering delicious in-season goodies in a number of creative ways. Whether you prefer to have meats, produce, and other foods delivered right to your doorstep or you'd rather enjoy a scavenger hunt made easy via a foraging app, there's no need to keep relying on those globally shipped, under-ripe, over-priced options at many big box supermarkets.

Challenging yourself to eat in a healthy manner (however you define it) will expand your palate and introduce you to some new favorites. Here are a few startups making it happen:

Postmates

You've heard about Seamless in New York (or maybe you're lucky enough to live there and take advantage of it), but don't think Manhattan has a corner on the market when it comes to local, cheap, fast delivery. Postmates is a resource to get delivery from any restaurant or café in your city, on a budget and on the go (assuming the restaurant is open, and that the service is available where you live). The company has real-time tracking and impressive ETAs, but also mixed reviews from couriers and many customers.

GrubMarket

If you prefer to support local and want the healthiest, most sustainable foods imaginable at your doorstep, GrubMarket is a good option. It's based in seven metro areas around the U.S., but delivers anywhere nationwide. By partnering up with local farms and other food suppliers, you get access to some of the freshest food in the country. For those who want a little of everything, sign up for their monthly surprise basket, filled with a selection of items.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron adds recipes on top of delivering fresh ingredients to your home each week. The company says it tries to make the cooking instructions as basic as possible, so even the culinarily-challenged among us can use the recipes they deliver. You can enjoy the likes of cod and pickled grapes or summer succotash with only what they send to your doorstep--and without the culinary degree that those dishes sound like they require.

RipeNearMe

Based in Australia, this startup app shows anyone around the world how to forage for free, safe, good food in their own backyard (or wherever they may be). "Find homegrown, ultra-local food," the app promises, either by truly foraging in the wild (or those urban hiking trails you love) or by sharing your own food virtually. "Shop," score freebies, or even share the food you've grown yourself.

Instacart

Not to be confused with instacat. There are a lot of grocery stores offering online options, but they're all over the place and each requires unique registration. Instacart promises you'll "never have to go to the grocery store again." They deliver groceries within an hour from your favorite big box, luxury, or boutique grocery store. Try them out with free delivery or pickup on your first order over $10.

Seasonal eating challenges have met their match with these five startups. In many areas of the U.S. it is now possible to obtain locally grown, organic, or any other type of food you're looking for. No matter what you like to eat, it is now a great deal easier to get what you want.

Published on: Jan 23, 2015