EATING WITH THE SEASONS - what's it all about?
The seasons are turning. We have passed the spring equinox here in the northern hemisphere, and with the beginning of daylight savings, the evenings are staying lighter longer. Down under, the opposite is happening: the days are getting cooler and the evenings are drawing in darker and earlier.
There’s a lot to be said for living in tune with the seasons. Our ancestors lived in close harmony with nature; rising and turning in with the sun, looking to the season for which crops to plant and when to harvest. The coming and going of each phase of the year was marked with ceremony and celebration.
This way of life has been largely lost in modern times, especially in urban settings. We don’t need to think about planting and harvests – we can buy whatever we want in the supermarket all year round. Yet there has been a re-emergence over the last few years of the idea of eating seasonally. Trendy restaurants often proudly exhibit tags like ‘seasonal produce’ or ‘seasonal menu’. So what’s all the fuss about?
Eating seasonally – that is, consuming produce is that is grown at the same time you’re buying it – is surprisingly simple. In fact, many of us probably eat with the seasons as a matter of instinct, preferring hearty stews with root vegetables in winter, and light, crisp salads in summer.
Eating with the seasons has many benefits. Most of them are linked to the fact that seasonal produce is generally grown locally, meaning it has not had to travel for days or weeks to get to you. If produce has had to travel, that means that it’s either been picked early so it’ll be ripe when it arrives, or it’s past its best by the time it gets there. Both of these things have a detrimental impact on both nutritional value, as well as freshness and flavour.
In addition, by choosing locally produced food we reduce the carbon footprint of ‘food miles’, an undeniably important consideration. In buying locally grown fruit and vegetables we are also supporting our local communities. Local producers aren’t growing the same crops all year round – they’re changing them with the season. We can support them by buying what they’re growing.
And of course, locally grown food is more economical, as it hasn’t had the costs of transport added to the price tag.
So, seasonal produce is fresher, tastes better and is more nutritious – and buying it will look after your local economy and help save the world. Sounds pretty good, huh?
If you’re wondering which produce is in season now, click the following link:
This article is for information only. For further information, please consult your healthcare professional.