stainFor people looking to live a more sustainable life through their eating habits

Why we should all make eating locally and seasonally our default status

It’s always five o’clock somewhere. It’s a concept that can be applied to seasonal food. But, says Sarah Juggins, there are many reasons why we should look closer to home for our ingredients.

Photo by Thomas Martinsen on Unsplash

A growing population of gardeners

It is certainly an approach that is growing. In 2017, the National Gardening Association in the USA reported that 35 per cent of households in the USA grow food either at home or in a community garden. That is a 200 per cent increase on the equivalent figure released in 2008.

A global food market

Since the 1970s our tastebuds and our diets have been changing to reflect increasing globalisation. Speed and ease of transportation; multi-national food producers; a more mobile population and increased culinary sophistication are some of the factors that have influenced what we like to eat.

Long distance meat

An area that is receiving a lot of attention right now is the transport of animals. The sight of large trucks with slatted sides tearing along motorways as hundreds of animals packed inside as they are transported from one area of the country to another, or onto ships to be transported to another country, is one of the scourges of the meat trade.

Photo by brittany sawyer on Unsplash

When limited availability is a good thing

When it comes to where your food comes from, one of the joys, and sometimes burdens, of eating locally is that not everything is available all year round.

Food memories

Delving into my own sensory memory bank I remember picking a peach while travelling in Australia. As I sank my teeth into its slightly warm, slightly furry skin and then into the delicious yellow flesh, my salivary glands went into overdrive. I have never found a peach to match it and when I buy a punnet of rock hard, slightly green peaches now, a little part of me mourns that I will never relive that exact moment.

Photo by Orlova Maria on Unsplash
Photo by Davies Designs Studio on Unsplash

A solid argument for local and seasonal

Many dismiss the concept of local and seasonal as yet another attempt by the liberal middle classes to impose their values but I don’t think that is the case. To me, it just makes sense — economically, health-wise and socially. It is what our ancestors did for hundreds of years. But for the modern person, here’s a few basic reasons why local and seasonal has to be best.

Photo by Bernd Dittrich on Unsplash

How can I eat locally and seasonally?

Grow your own — even if it is one small window box with some micro salad leaves, you will get immense pleasure and joy from eating something you have planted, nurtured and harvested.

Freelance writer, specialising in sport, health, fitness … and food.

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