Why should I cook seasonally? Seasonal eating was the way of our ancestors, but as industrial scale farming and supermarkets exploded, the way we shopped and ate changed. This has drastically increased the carbon footprint of each meal, decreased nutrition (due to pesticides, preservatives and frozen food), contributed to the obesity crisis, destroyed our natural wildlife, squeezed small farmers and created a food waste culture.
Supermarkets now stock almost any fruit or vegetable 365 days a year, in mass quantities. However quantity does not equal quality and this is where cooking, eating and buying seasonally comes in.
1) Seasonal eating is better for the planet
Eating seasonal ingredients and buying from local farmers is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint. When you go to the supermarket in winter to buy strawberries for your smoothie and cherry tomatoes for your salad, we often don’t stop to think about the journey they’ve had before landing in our trolleys. By plane or by van, these cartons will have travelled a distance, often thousands of miles.
2) Seasonal eating is better for you
Foods harvested in peak season often hold more nutrients than if they were grown out of season. In order for fruits and vegetables to be available year round, they often have to be artificially ripened or imported from afar. Artificial processes include chemicals and gasses that are used by farmers to slow the ripening process and protect their foods from bacteria on the journey from farm to grocery store.
3) Seasonal eating is richer in flavour
When your produce is coming from overseas it will often be picked before it is ripened and then sprayed with chemicals to slow down the ripening process, all so it gets to you in the right condition. Produce harvested local to you, in season and fully ripened tastes incredible, and you can instantly tell the difference.
4) Seasonal eating is cheaper
When a food is in season there is an abundance of it, and you can find it in supermarkets at a much more reasonable price. If a food is out of season there is a limited supply and if it is being imported from afar it will come at an extra cost to the environment and your wallet.
My Favourite Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Autumn: