As the weather changes in each season, the produce that naturally grows changes accordingly. Of course we now live in an age, where thanks to advances in technology, we can grow & transport most types of foods out of season across the globe. It would be unrealistic to expect the general consumer to stick to the seasons, but it would also be a mistake not to list the clear benefits that come from eating seasonally and perhaps to think how we could change some of our habits, to bring tangible benefits to our lives and to wider society.
Most of us have budgets and that pressure will increase if we have children, eating seasonally and buying local should be cheaper, as the produce has not been transported from overseas or needed to be stored. The produce should also be more affordable because it will have been easier to grow and therefore there should be an abundance as opposed to a shortage – just compare the price of strawberries in the summer to the price in winter!
Food is about two things for me, taste and nutrition. However when you eat out of season, the produce will either have been grown in artificial conditions or transported from abroad- both will have an impact on taste. Secondly there have been multiple studies that demonstrate the clear link between the lack of taste and the lack of nutrition. Most of us will have encountered large vegetables and fruits, which look appetising but actually have almost no taste- they will undoubtedly be out of season or mass produced artificially. Compare this Frankenstein produce with a vine ripened tomato nurtured by the sun and the taste and nutritional value is incomparable.
The environment is increasingly in the news as our weather continues to change. We all have a responsibility as citizens of this planet to look after her and to live as much within our means as possible. By eating out of season we are increasing long distance travel by air and the sea, both of which leave large carbon footprints. By eating seasonally we can reduce this unnecessary pollution. We could also reduce the amount of chemicals we ingest by avoiding foods that have been sprayed and treated to ensure they are ripe on arrival from abroad. Eating locally is inextricably linked to seasonality as your local producers will be working with the seasons. So you will be benefiting your local community and economy as well as helping the environment, whilst eating tastier, cheaper and healthier produce- what’s not to love?!
Creator and founder of the interactive website and app for children: Henri Le Worm
Ambassador of LOVE BRITISH FOOD.