Corn, beans, asparagus, basil or strawberries in winter, apples in spring, squash in summer… a lot of people don’t realize the effort that’s needed to get out of season-food on their plates, and how much more healthy food from the season is.
We used to live in the city where at the supermarket you could buy all fruits & vegetables all year round, disconnected from location or season. And at that time we did not question that. Really! Maybe because you wouldn’t notice the horrible taste of strawberries in the wrong season because also in the right season they tasted like… nothing. My own strawberries you can crush with your fork on a piece of bread. But I don’t reccommend that with supermarket strawberries! You cannot squeeze them.
Now that I have my own garden, I know that I can only harvest my strawberries in summer, asparagus in spring, Jerusalem artichokes between October and March…
Some vegetables need a lot of warmth, others grow well when it’s colder. Kale and sprouts for instance have a much better taste after the first frost. But strawberries and tomatoes need a warm & not too wet season to get their sweetness.
Apples ripen in August or September, and you can store them in a cool cellar for a few months. So if you go to the supermarket to buy apples in June, you get apples that are picked a year ago when they were slightly unripe, they were sprayed with methylcyclopropene and fungicide, waxed and stored cool for a year. Bon apetit!
And strawberries in winter? Scientists invented red and blue LED light that makes the manipulated strawberry plant think that it is spring and produce some mushy fruits that never see real sunlight.
Local, organic food from the season is also by far the richest in nutrients. It got lots of energy from the sun!
When we need tomatoes in winter or spring, I use my own frozen tomatoes. Or I buy organic tomatoes in glass jars (because of the toxic BPA in the liner in cans). And “fresh” but tasteless tomatoes from some commercial farm or glasshouse far away has traveled too much to be healthy for the planet.
Food from this season is usually local so it’s cheaper and doesn’t need much fuel for travelling. Or energy for storage and packaging.
Gordon Ramsay, the Brittish culinary chef, made a statement by declaring war to restaurants who don’t serve seasonal food. >> Read the article
I hope he has a lot of (political) influence, and with our help in just doing it, we might change the world a bit. Let’s eat only fresh, local seasonal food from now on!