January 12, 2022
Shelves are stocked with produce from all over the world, which makes it hard to distinguish where our food comes from. We have got too used to eating whatever food we fancy at any time of the year; however, eating more seasonal foods from local producers has huge benefits for the environment and your health.
What does it mean?
Eating seasonally, means to eat foods that are naturally in season at the same time of year that you are eating them, shortly after it is harvested in the local area.
- Cheaper - When produce is out of season, it must either be grown in managed conditions or shipped from abroad - this increases the price of the product. When in season, there are low transport and growing costs and high availability. As a result, there is a significant reduction in costs.
- Better for the planet - Not only is the financial cost lower, but eating seasonal local food has a significant impact on the carbon output of food. For example, a 100g box of blueberries grown locally will produce around 100g of CO2. If they are flown in, this increases up to around 1kg.
- Produce that has been freshly harvested and is in season is tastier than food that has spent weeks in transport. During transport, a higher rate of respiration occurs in produce, resulting in loss of moisture, degradation of nutrients, and potential microbial spoilage.
- Artificially ripened produce is often not as nutritious or as tasty as seasonal fruit and veg.
- Nothing beats British summer berries or fresh asparagus in spring!
- Supports local community - When you buy locally produced food, the money you spend helps to support farmers and communities in the UK.
- Healthier - Foods that are grown and consumed during their appropriate seasons are often more nutritionally dense.
- Using a seasonal food calendar, such as this one, is great way to help plan shopping for seasonal local produce.
- Seasonal boxes are a convenient way to order seasonal ingredients online to be delivered straight to your door, they also encourage you to try new foods! Riverford and Everfield are two good options.
- BBC Food and Riverford are useful resources for finding seasonal recipes to try.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, Jordan Parr, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.