We are often exposed to celebrity chefs and local restaurant menu’s singing about how important it is to eat seasonally. But what does that really mean, for you in your home kitchen? And What are the benefits?
What is seasonal food?
Seasonal food is produce that is at it’s very best at this very moment. Think fresh strawberries at your local farmers market in the height of the Summer sunshine. Or woodpigeon in November – plump and flavourful after filling their bellies with wild fruits.
Why is it important to eat seasonally?
Even though we all like to eat strawberries all year round, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower shortly after harvest. You’ll be rewarded with flavour unlike any other. Sweet, juicy and impossible to pass by.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms are often fresher, as they do not require long distances for transport. Which means you are likely to enjoy them when their are at their most nutritious. Unlike out of season produce which is harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to still be fresh once they land on your shelves! What’s more, studies have shown that fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when allowed to ripen naturally on their parent plant. Crops picked at their peak of ripeness are always far tastier too.
Seasonal produce can grow with less human assistance i.e. pesticides and genetically modification. We know how these toxic compounds can contaminate the water and soil and also our health. Seasonal food is more likely to be locally produced as well, which reduces the load on our environment due to transport, or “food mileage”.
So why is it important to eat seasonally?
Seasonal food is fresher, tastier and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. And it’s better for your local economy and the enviroment. It’s really as simple as that.