We’ve all heard it already: eat seasonal, it’s the best for you and it’s the most sustainable. Seasonal eating – the phrase became a buzzword for advertisers as well: it’s often used to highlight the freshness of a product or a dish in supermarkets and restaurants.
Yeah, easy to say! In our globalised food supply, everything seems to be in season at any given day of the year. We live in the age of being able to eat anything at any time of the year we wanted to. Raspberries in December? No problem. Raspberries every day of the year? Also not a problem. But is this a good thing? Not necessarily. We are very used used to this, raspberries in December are now the normal.
But what is seasonal eating all about?
Let’s talk about what is seasonal food!
Every crop has its season. Harvest happens when the crops reached their peak growth so they have maximum flavour and nutrition. We know that apples and pears are autumn fruits but watermelon is a summer fruit so much so, that in Hungary (where I’m from) we never bought any more after the 25th of August because it wasn’t as good anymore.
We’ve come very far from understanding where our food comes from and how is it produced. Well – not everyone for sure, but a lot of people in our Western societies surely did. But we can change this. It’s important to change this.
Seasonal food means local food
Buying local means that you buy foods that are naturally ripened and nutrient-rich and endure less travel, processing and packaging.
5 reasons to eat seasonal
It tastes better
It’s fresher and harvested at its peak maturity. Food that is fresh and naturally ripened tastes so much better!
It’s more nutritious
Seasonal food contains the nutrients and minerals that our bodies need at particular times of the year. The nutrient density os seasonal food is much higher as they are picked when it’s the freshest and sold soon after. Whilst those fruits and vegetables that travel from far away countries begins to decline the instant that they are harvested and they are often harvested before reaching their peak nutrient density.
It supports the local economy
Just like supporting local businesses, buying local food supports local farmers and producers. For every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into that local economy.
It’s more environmentally friendly
Eating seasonal and local helps to reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions that’s needed to grow and transport the food. 80 percent of the energy our food system uses goes to processing, packaging, transporting, storing and preparing food — and we’re paying for those costs, rather than for the necessary nutrition.
Food in season is cheaper because you are buying it when it is in abundance and it has not travelled a long way. If you’re buying produce that’s out of season, it’s not as available, and the price you pay has a built-in surcharge.
Classic Italian Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
Since right now, we are getting regular fresh and organic tomato and asparagus deliveries from the Isle of Wight – I practically live on them. So I’m going to share this Classic Italian Tomato Bruschetta Recipe which is one of my favourite ways to eat tomatoes!
Classic Italian Tomato Bruschetta
- 3 ripe beef tomato chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 handfuls fresh basil chopped
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt flakes
- 4 slices rustic white bread toasted
Chop up and drain tomatoes.
Chop the basil leaves as you like it (I like it coarsely chopped) and mince the garlic - then just mix everything and and serve!