Eating our fruits and vegetables in season used to be commonplace, then over time we began to see all varieties of fruit and veg all-year round. Why question a good thing? Winter rhubarb is a thing now! Let them eat rhubarb.
The supermarket is now an overly abundent institute impervious to the passage of time and seasons, inexplicably able to give us all we desire whenever every we want it, isn’t it wonderful? The future is wonderful, as this is something supermarkets were unable to do not that long ago. So why knock a good thing? Our providers have found a way to give us all we ever wanted, we demanded it and we got it. It may not be what we tell our kids but “I WANT” always gets, at least in the more ‘economically advanced counties’. So how did we get so lucky?
Well, from the good-will and kindness of others of course. The worldwide community has seen how hungry we are, how desperate we are for year-round asparagus and tomatoes and decided to help.
Okay it’s not quite so hunky-dory, essentially our supermarkets are so large and so rich that they now pay countries able to produce these fruits and vegetables at different times of the year to ensure a year-round supply of everything. Neat huh? Well in many cases yes, though in many others certainly not. The desperation for year-round availability has given rise to an almost slavery driven industry (particularly in Spain) to ensure they produce enough and to keep prices low. And so, we get food imported from round the world but pay very low prices. Neat huh?
Also some countries are not actually able to efficiently produce the foods, one particularly horrific case of this is Peruvian asparagus, in which they are growing asparagus in deserts (yes, deserts) and destroying huge areas of Peru. This is damaging to their agriculture, their local farmers and their land, and not to mention their pride! (to read more on this issue click here). But what’s valentines day without asparagus? You can’t have a day dedicated to love without the darn thing surely?
So in short here are a few reasons eating in season is good for everyone:
- Reduce the huge amount of CO2 emissions needed to transport the food here.
- Reduce the CO2 from growing huge amounts of fruit and veg in small areas abroad.
- Reduce the price of food, transport costs are a lot.
- Self-sufficiency, our countries are nearly all capable of making a bounty of food and we can get a to state of not relying-on/forcing other countries to produce food for our picky palates. Also, by doing this we can help our local economies, giving money to local farmers and grocers.
- Food that is in season is often tastier and better for you, that is, it is actually grown correctly and at it’s ripest.
- It’s nice. I like the idea (maybe many don’t) of having the excitement of a fruit or vegetable coming into season. I appreciate it more and become more enthused with both the purchasing and cooking of food.
- Because it should be the norm! Transporting huge cargoes of kale and apricots across the glove in giant ships is mental. We humans are odd creatures, but this is certainly one of our more crazy ideas.
- Finally, to educate children (and ourselves) about food. What food is good when, when it is ripe, but also about where food comes from, which is not just ‘from a supermarket’ as many expect.
However maybe enacting this change is harder than one might hope, given the current knowledge of the seasons in this country. Below are the results of a survey by BBC Good Good Magazine:
Don’t worry too much if you don’t know the seasons, neither do if I am completely honest. I have to look it up pretty much every time I buy anything. Knowing this stuff just isn’t common-place anymore, though lets try changing that?
I hope to make a lot more posts on this topic, especially on what’s currently in season and maybe even links to some recipes as to what to do with these foods. Also, I hope to make some infographics and/or images to easily know what’s in season next time you go to the supermarket…maybe even an app…? I’ll see. Anyway, watch this space.