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5 Reasons to Eat Seasonally
5 Reasons to Eat According To What’s In Season…
The rise in globalisation in recent decades has meant that our favourite fruit & vegetables are accessible to us at any time of the year. Supermarkets are able, through economies of scale to import a large mass of produce from all corners of the globe, at any time of the year.
Want to eat a pineapple (naturally harvested in the summer months) from Costa Rica in the middle of January? Sure. Head to your local supermarket for an abundance of choice. Although convenience has its benefits, there are many reasons as to why eating seasonally can be a better choice. Firstly, the UK produces some fantastic food throughout the seasons, from juicy sweet strawberries & rhubarb in May to a variety of earthy comforting root vegetables in the Autumn months.
Eating seasonally requires us to do things a little ‘old school’ and to eat according to what is naturally available in our local climate at that time. This means choosing produce that has been locally and naturally harvested. And why should we do this? As well as helping your bank balance and the environment, here are some very valid reasons to pick your produce according to the season:
1. More Sustainable
As mentioned, eating seasonally means your food is grown locally to you. By choosing to eat seasonally reduces your environmental footprint significantly due to reduced overseas shipping and exporting of produce. As produce is being shipped from one climate to another, energy is required to keep goods chilled whilst being transported to their destination.
Food that is grown locally will also require fewer chemical pollutants such as fertilisers and pesticides. These contribute to air, water & soil pollution which also affects the local community in which it’s grown in.
2. It’s Cheaper
The reduction in harvesting & transportation fees means that suppliers can sell produce for a lower cost compared to other times of the year, where produce may have to be shipped in from overseas.
As local food is naturally harvested, the local climate naturally provides what the food requires to grow and ripen. This again, reduces costs which can be passed on to the customer.
3. Higher Micronutrient Profile
Different produce is naturally harvested at different times of the year for a reason. It’s natures way of producing fruits & vegetables that our body requires, depending on the climate. Summer berries like strawberries, blackberries and redcurrants harvested in the summer are naturally highest in antioxidants, helping to mop up oxidative damage caused by the suns UV rays, whilst clementine’s in the winter months are full of vitamin C, helping our immune systems to fight colds and viruses.
Long-haul transportation of goods means that nutritional value decreases the longer it is in transit. Buying local produce ensures that from farm to plate requires less steps and is much shorter in duration.
4. Helps Small Businesses
In our current climate, small businesses need our help more than ever. Restrictions on transportation of goods between countries (COVID anyone?) and potentially complicated new trade agreements (Brexit anyone?), we need to turn to our local producers now more than ever.
Visiting your local farmers market or farmers shop is a great way to shop for seasonal fruit and vegetables whilst helping the local economy. You’ll be surprised at how much cheaper it can be to buy your produce from local growers.
I’ve mentioned Riverford Organics & Abel & Cole in a previous post, however they are excellent local growers here in the South East, and deliver weekly fruit & vegetable boxes according to seasonality. These boxes are great if you aren’t clued up on what’s in season and would like to experiment with new produce. If you don’t know any local producers in your area, you can search for them via Find Local Produce who have an extensive directory of local growers information here in the UK.
5. It Tastes Better
Just like your local farmers eggs taste (and look) better than your supermarket bought eggs, fruit & vegetables are most delicious during harvest.
Harvesting produce at the right time ensures perfect maturation of the crop, leading to an abundance of flavour. Juicy fruits are at their juiciest and earthy vegetable flavour profiles are rich.
What’s In Season Right Now?
As mentioned, the UK produces such an amazing selection of various fruits & vegetables throughout the seasons. If this post has inspired you to buy seasonally, what should you add to your basket this week?
A we’re heading towards the end of the Autumn season; root vegetables are our star players. Autumnal weather, with its orange and rust coloured backdrop is reflected in what is produced. A few choices for November:
- Butternut Squash
For the festive season, green & red produce is at its most delicious:
- Brussels Sprouts
If you would like to find out whether working with a nutritionist is right for you, please contact me for a no obligation chat.