What is Seasonal Eating?
Across the year, different produce will thrive throughout individual seasons. Whether it’s summer, autumn, winter or spring, different fruit and veggies will start to sprout up and grow at some point over the 12 months. It makes sense - when it comes to people, usually someone will favour the summertime over the winter months, am I right? Well… fruit and vegetables are no different! Just like me and you, produce will pick their favourite times to shine during the course of a year and eating seasonally means enjoying locally grown food at its best. That is not the only benefit of eating seasonally however, here are 5 top reasons why you should eat seasonally.
5 Benefits of Eating Seasonally
Seasonal eating can include other types of food such as fish and meat during certain times of the year, but the term mainly refers to fruit and vegetables. Crops that are ‘in season’ will be different depending on which region you live in and every country and town will have their own version of seasonal produce, each holding a variety of different health, environmental and sustainable benefits. So, what are the primary benefits of eating seasonally?
1. A varied and nutritional diet
One of the main benefits of eating seasonally is that different crops will come to life throughout the year, meaning that as the year progresses and transitions into a new phase, so will your diet. For example, during the summer months, radishes, cucumber, blackberries, cherries and carrots will make their best appearance; whereas during the winter, it’s all about apples, celery, mushrooms, pumpkins and cranberries. Anything starting to sound familiar? You may already be experiencing these food groups at certain times in the year and not even realise it! Holidays such as Halloween and Christmas are often associated with pumpkins, apples, cranberries and squash (another winter veggie) - all of which are seasonal. Many restaurants will also consider seasonality in their menus and will adjust accordingly as to what they have available. All of these food types are packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals and eating seasonally will ensure that you are consuming a high variety throughout the year.
2. Avoid chemicals and pesticides
Food that is grown outside of its natural environment (meaning a specific part of the year in which they are usually grown) will need a lot more help and encouragement in the form of pesticides, preservatives and chemicals. This is why it is not only beneficial to the crops to reach their full potential in quality and flavour, but also to the person consuming them. If you eat seasonally, you are more likely to avoid these unwanted chemicals and enjoy food exactly how it should be - natural. Why endure long-term pesticide consumption when you could enjoy fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables.
3. Eat well and save some money in the process!
Did you know that an additional benefit of seasonal eating is that it can actually be cheaper? When produce thrives, there will often be a surplus or at least a plentiful amount that will need to be consumed shortly after ripening. This is where you can save those extra pennies! If you shop for sweet potatoes in the UK’s winter as opposed to the summer and autumn months, it is likely that these will be more expensive as farmers have had to work harder to maintain healthy crops. Whilst this may be a slightly disheartening revelation, seasonal eating gives you the opportunity to experience a range of different fruit and vegetables throughout the year, which will not only liven up your dinners and creativity whilst cooking, but will also save you money in the process.
4. High quality produce with intense flavour
Everyone will have good and bad days sometimes, so why would crops be any different? If you eat produce during its best month of growth then it makes sense that the quality of that product will be to a higher standard than say a period of time where it is struggling to survive. When you allow a plant to grow in an environment that is natural and let the earth do the rest for you, it is going to look and taste a lot better than if you were to attempt to recreate the environment unnaturally. It will require a lot more energy and resources and never going to quite match that of natural means. Trusting the earth’s seasonal cycle and routine, you can almost guarantee that it is going to be fresher and exude intense flavour due to the ripeness and standard.
5. Positive environmental impact
Eating seasonal produce not only benefits your health but has a positive impact on the environment. Many foods that aren’t in season in the UK will be imported over via planes and other types of transport, burning unnecessary fuels and adding to the carbon footprint. But guess what? There’s actually a fairly simple solution… eating seasonally! Another key benefit of seasonal food is that it supports local businesses and promotes sustainability. It is not just air pollution that is avoided but the use of energy, refrigeration and conditions to keep the produce safe and secure are also removed. Although we are often concealed from factors such as these adding to our environmental issues, they really do exist and changing up your diet to complement the seasons will go a long way in reducing our carbon footprint.
How to Enjoy Seasonal Eating the Right Way
If this all sounds a little overwhelming and you are unsure of how to prepare and cook the freshest seasonal crops the right way, then why not let us do it for you? At Finish and Feast, we provide a menu of 3-course meals that are designed by chefs and delivered to your door; so you can appreciate a fine dining experience featuring only the best, locally-sourced ingredients from your very own home. Experience our high-quality gourmet meal box delivery without the hassle of leaving the house, just simply heat it up and enjoy.
Benefit from Eating Seasonally with Finish & Feast!