Before the days of long-distance freight transport, prior to the year-round availability of everything from Peruvian asparagus to Dutch tomatoes, Brits dined on that which grew around them; hearty root vegetables in winter, the finest peas and green veg in spring and plump berries in the summer.
However these days 50% of the food consumed in the U.K is imported and our particular tastes and yearning for convenience has resulted in supermarket shelves looking the same week in week out. With the growing popularity of convenience and processed food and the majority of the U.K population growing up in urban areas with little connection to agriculture and vague knowledge of where their food comes from we are at risk of losing our seasons and connection to our culinary and agricultural heritage.
Swapping South American Apples and New Zealand Asparagus for their local counterparts seems obvious and logical, however it is also a great alternative to eat oranges, peaches and kiwi fruit from Spain or Italy, rather than those that have travelled much further from Africa, and don’t feel guilty for eating your morning banana, they won’t be grown in Yorkshire anytime soon!
Today seasonal eating is experiencing a revival with Chefs and consumers paying more attention to the provenance of their food and are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact both their diet and spending have.
For me eating seasonal makes so much sense, and here are the 5 reasons why:
Growing and eating seasonal produce will reduce the energy (and associated CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat. Eating an apple grown in Kent rather than one grown in New Zealand has significantly less food miles and will most likely be cheaper, and tastier. Also seasonal produce tends to need fewer pesticides to grow healthily.
When fruit and veg are in season there is a lot of it, farmers and distributors will have a surplus which means better prices and us, the consumer, can avoid paying a premium for scarcer food that has travelled further.
Seasonal Fruit and veg have reached their nutritional peak meaning healthy food is healthiest for you when in season! Be sure to eat fruit and veg in season to get the most from their nutritional terminal velocity!
To support your local community, economy and British Farmers;
Buying from farmers markets and farm shops, and even buying british at the supermarket is a great way to support your local community, pour your money back into not only your country, but your countryside and help our farmers, the keepers of our land!
And finally, but maybe most important-TASTE;
When fruit and veg is harvested at its peak and delivered to your plate as quickly as possible – without weeks in refrigeration – and time spent at sea, you can guarantee it will taste its very best.
Hopefully these reasons will encourage you to think and eat the seasons, and if you know of someone that needs educating then please share this with them along with other great resources such as: