As a species, humans have never before been as connected to each other as we currently are. But these advancements, coupled with mass migration from the once-honoured wilderness in which we thrived, to our now overpopulated cities, has left us disconnected from nature.
As a nation growing up in dense urban cities away from large scale greenery, it can be easy to forget where our fruit and vegetables actually come from.
It is not uncommon for fruits and vegetables that aren’t currently in season in the UK to be grown and frozen in America, Africa, and even as far away as Australia, before being shipped across and stocked in UK supermarkets.
There are a plethora of benefits associated with eating locally sourced, seasonally available foods, the least of which being that you get much higher quality, better tasting foods.
One of the greatest benefits of eating food seasonally is the savings that can be made. If you’re savvy enough to know which fruits and veg are in season, you can buy them at a percentage of the price.
This is because food grown in the right season can be left to grow making it a far less time-consuming process, and because the food is at the peak of its supply, it can be sold for less. It’s the £2.99 punnet of strawberries grown out of season, picked before they’re ripe, frozen and shipped to the UK vs the £1 punnet of fresh seasonal strawberries. I know which one I’m choosing.
Variety is the spice of life
As certain foods won’t be available all-year-round, you may be forced to broaden your horizons. Although initially this may sound like a negative, if you’re able to make the adjustment you’ll not only develop your palate by finding new fruits and vegetables, you’ll also discover new dishes, cooking techniques, tastes and textures.
Seasonal, sustainable, delicious
Knowing that a food is in season is important, but just because the fruit and veg can be grown locally, that doesn’t mean shelves at your supermarket will be stocked full of it. Buying locally from farmers’ market or locally sourced grocers will ensure that you’re getting the freshest, highest quality foods at good prices. In addition to this, buying locally supports local farmers and the community.
When produce is grown in another country, it has to be picked before it is ripe to stop it going bad before it gets to your plate. The produce is then frozen, and transported overseas where it eventually makes its way to our shops. This process not only affects the taste, but also lowers the amount of nutrients found in the food.
Most importantly, purchasing foods locally helps to protect the planet. As food isn’t being imported from thousands of miles away, a significant amount less fuel is being used, helping to lower the amount of pollutant gas that goes into the atmosphere every year.