As we start the new decade, many will be embarking on New Year’s resolutions and health kicks. However, with all the different diets and nutritional advice out there, it can be difficult to know who to trust and where to begin. We all know that we should be drinking more water, reducing our intake of sugar, caffeine and alcohol, but have you ever considered “seasonal eating”?
What is seasonal eating?
As seasons change around the world, as does the weather and therefore the type of produce that grows. Seasonal eating involves eating fresh, locally grown produce at the time of year when it is ready to harvest.
Seasonal eating is a trend that has been around for many years however, it can be difficult to follow as we operate in a globalised food system were we have instant access to all food groups all year round.
What are the benefits of seasonal eating?
It costs less
When food is in season there tends to be more of it, which means lots of supermarket offers and 2 for 1 deals. Additionally, when you eat produce out of season the consumer has to incur the cost of transportation from the other side of the world making your strawberries in December far more expensive than they should be.
It tastes better
Naturally ripened fruit and vegetables that are grown and picked in season tend to be full of flavour and nutrients. Out of season fruit and veg can spend weeks being transported to you whereas seasonal produce doesn’t have to endure such transportation and a result is riper and tastier.
It has more nutrients
For the same reason seasonal fruit and veg tastes better, it’s also healthier. Nutrients in produce will decline over time. Food grown and consumed during the appropriate season is more nutritionally dense, uses less ripening agents and chemicals and is therefore better for us.
It’s environmentally friendly
Seasonal foods don’t have to travel as far to get to your. As a result there will be less packaging, fuel emission and carbon footprint.
How can I eat seasonally?
Farmers markets are a great place to start or check out supermarket websites and food blogs for seasonal eating ideas.
What to eat in January?
Here is a small selection of some of the produce recommended for January…
Brussel sprouts Rhubarb
Walnuts Brazil nuts