How to eat with the seasons
31 Days, 31 Ways to an eco-friendly New Year
Day 13 - Eat seasonally
Go into any supermarket and you’ll see the shelves stacked high with every type of fruit and vegetable at all times of the year. But many people don’t consider how far their apple, broccoli or avocado has travelled to get to their plate or what processes it has been though to arrive in perfect condition.
Eating seasonally is an easy way to be more green. It simply means eating what’s in season right now and avoiding produce which has been processed or travelled long distances. If you’re not sure, check out the handy guide below to what’s harvested in the UK each month.
Not only is eating seasonally better for the planet, fresh, seasonal food often tastes better and retains more nutrients as well as being cheaper. So, it’s better for your body and bank balance too.
Reasons to eat seasonally
It’s kinder to the planet
Seasonal food is often grown much closer to you. This cuts downs on the damage done to the environment by transporting produce long distances by land, air and sea while keeping it in a temperature-controlled environment.
Food grown locally will also need fewer fertilisers and pesticides reducing the water, air, and soil pollution associated with them.
You’ll also be creating a more sustainable food economy by reducing your personal carbon footprint.
It tastes better
Seasonal fruit and veggies are at their most delicious and nutritious because they have been harvested at the perfect time.
Out of season food which has to travel to arrive on your plate, is picked before it is ripe. When it reaches you, it is neither as fresh nor as tasty.
Eat with the seasons and your body will thank you for it. You’ll have a more varied diet with a wider range of nutrients and minerals.
Trust the wisdom of Mother Nature. She knows that our bodies need different things at different times of the year. That’s why she produces stone fruits in summer which shield us against the sun’s UV rays and citrus fruits in winter with Vitamin C to fight colds and viruses.
Any produce which has to travel halfway round the world will lose some of its nutritional value. And this also goes for fruit and veggies which have been blanched, tinned or dehydrated. Although frozen food maintains its vitamin levels, freezing affects the taste and texture.
It’s often cheaper
Anything seasonal is cheaper to harvest and transport and because it is in abundance, the cost to you should be cheaper.
If you live in city or shop at big supermarkets, you might not notice this too much because the supermarkets will keep this profit to themselves. Look out for the Red Tractor logo as this means your food is traceable back to a UK farm and guarantees it has been safely farmed with care.
If you live in a more rural area, you should have lots of options for cheaper, locally-produced, seasonal produce. Visit your local farm shop or find out if they offer a delivery service. Asking on your local Facebook community group will also give you a load of great recommendations for nearby suppliers.
It helps your local community
As mentioned above, the supermarkets will often not give you the best price on seasonal fruit and veggies. So, find some local farmers’ markets, farm shops, food co-ops and bakeries. Which means as well as all the benefits above, you’ll be supporting the local economy and smaller, independent farmers and businesses which in turn creates local jobs.
Buying directly from the farmer or producer also means you’ll know exactly where your food came from.
If you’re like us, you’ll be surprised at the variety of amazing, seasonal fruit and vegetables available in the UK. Check out the handy guide below which shows what and when everything is harvested.
Charlie & Colette