Story by Jess from Eat Seasonably
Any idea when courgettes come into season? How about cucumbers? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. New research shows that most people aren’t sure when British fruit and vegetables are in season which is a real shame as it means they’re missing out on when they’re at their absolute best.
While it’s easy to enjoy blueberries with your breakfast in winter, being accustomed to buying whatever we want, whenever we want it means we are increasingly becoming disconnected from our food and its relationship with nature. Eating with the seasons means getting back in touch with nature’s rhythms and eating the right thing at the right time. What could be more delicious than a crisp salad when it’s hot and sunny (like Jamie's raddichio and rocket salad),or a wholesome stew when it’s cold (like Jamie's beef and ale stew)? Ask any chef and they’ll tell you that fruit and veg are at their freshest and tastiest when they’ve just been picked, so why settle for sickly looking strawberries in winter or unappetising asparagus in August?
Eating seasonably is also a great way of eating more sustainably. The fruit and vegetables we consume in the UK have the same carbon footprint as driving round the world a million times in a Hummer or taking 4 million return flights to Australia (according to the Energy Trust). Growing fruit and veg in season requires lower levels of artificial inputs like heating, lighting, pesticides and fertilisers than at other times of the year and so has a lower environmental impact.
With reduced transportation and production costs for the producers, seasonable fruit and veg will have less of an impact on your grocery bills too. Also when produce is in season, it is more abundant and this helps to keep the price down. A basket of fruit and veg bought in season can be as much as a third cheaper than the same basket bought out of season.
Try eating seasonably this summer and experience the joy of eating fruit and vegetables at their peak of perfection – better tasting, better for the environment and better yet – better value.
About the author:
Eat Seasonably: This new campaign aims to help you enjoy fruit and vegetables at their seasonal best. Eat Seasonably is backed by major supermarkets and small market stall-holders alike, as well as cafes, pubs, restaurants and some of the nation’s favourite charities. To coincide with the refreshed recipe section the Jamie Oliver online team have created a seasonal calendar that allows you to easily find recipes for produce that is in season.