WHY EAT THE SEASONS?
There are a number of good reasons to eat more local, seasonal food:
to reduce the energy (and associated CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat
to avoid paying a premium for food that is scarcer or has travelled a long way
to support the local economy
to reconnect with nature's cycles and the passing of time
but, most importantly, because
seasonal food is fresher and so tends to be tastier and more nutritious
The majority of the UK population grow up in urban areas, with little or no awareness of when and where various foods are produced. Imports from around the world ensure that supermarket shelves look the same week in week out.
Eat the Seasons aims to promote an understanding of food seasons. Each week we focus on one food, which is currently in season, and share enlightening facts, useful tips and enticing recipe ideas picked from the web and our favourite books.
Fruit and vegetables make up a large number of the foods we focus on, but seafood and meat are also included. Seasonal food is local food and 80% of the foods featured are produced in the UK. However we also highlight the seasons for many fruit from southern Europe - it's better to eat oranges, peaches and kiwi fruit flown over from Spain or Italy rather than those that have travelled much further from Africa, America or Australia. We also include a very small number of fruit grown outside Europe that we can't live without - bananas, pomegranates and passion fruit - and suggest that these are enjoyed, in moderation, when UK and European fruit is relatively sparce.
We do, however, think it’s a bit silly to buy asparagus flown in from South America, or apples shipped from New Zealand, when for many weeks or months of the year you can feast on far superior native versions - often at a lower cost financially as well as environmentally. And whenever a particular UK-produced ingredient goes out of season, you can guarantee that another delicious food has come back into season to tempt us all. Ultimately, Eat the Seasons is about enjoyment not abstinence. But people who are interested in food quality and have an awareness of when certain ingredients are at their best will, quite naturally, end up eating MORE of the foods in season and LESS of those shipped half-way around the world.
Of course even when a food is in season its quality can vary dramatically. Food produced locally, e.g. bought from a farmers’ market, is likely to be a lot fresher than its supermarket equivalent. Meat produced with respect for the animals concerned will inevitably be far superior to intensively-reared animals that are likely to have spent pitiful lives in abhorrent conditions. See our recommended section for pointers to some excellent sources of further information on these subjects.
We hope you have as much fun using the site as we have putting it together. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about the site, please get in touch. And if you sign up for our weekly email you’ll be kept up-to-date with which foods are best NOW, making it easy to buy and eat seasonally.
So say goodbye to monotonous, mediocre meals and discover the world of sublime and sensational seasonal foods.