How important is the seasonality of products?

In a UK survey, the BBC found that, on average, less than 1 in 10 Brits know when some of the most famous vegetables and fruits are in season. These days, there are already quite a few supermarkets that give us year-round access to so many products that we don’t even think about how they are grown and end up on store shelves.

Of the 2000 Britons surveyed, only 5% could tell when blackberries are ripe and juicy. Only 4% guessed when plum season is coming. And only 1 out of 10 people could accurately name the gooseberry season. And all this despite the fact that 86% of consumers say they believe in the importance of seasonality, and 78% say they buy products in their seasons.

Among all of our food problems—obesity, the ever-increasing number of ready meals, our reluctance to cook—is it really worth worrying about people not knowing when a certain food is in season?

Jack Adair Bevan runs an Ethicurean restaurant in Bristol that, as far as possible, uses only seasonal produce from the garden. Despite this commendable approach, Jack does not think of criticizing those who are not so one with the flow of nature. “We have it all at our fingertips, in our own garden, and we can keep track of the seasons without any problems. But I understand that it will not be easy for someone without a garden. And if everything that people need is available in stores all year round, of course, it’s hard to refuse it.”

Tan Prince, author of Perfect Nature Reserves, agrees. “Buying groceries only in season is not an easy task. But, of course, the products have a natural clock that makes them taste richer in season.”

Of course, the quality of taste is among the first reasons on the list why it is worth buying products in season. Few people will be pleased with a pale January tomato or fresh strawberries on the Christmas table.

However, the arguments for seasonal produce go beyond taste. For example, the British farmer and founder of Riverford, an organic farm and vegetable box company, said in an interview: “I am a supporter of local food partly for environmental reasons, but mainly because I think it is important that people feel connected to where it comes from. their food.”

You can equate seasonal products with local ones, but not everyone is a strong argument in favor of seasonal shopping. Other proponents of seasonal produce use words like “harmony.” It’s a good idea, but it’s as weak as a winter strawberry.

But the economic arguments are quite specific. The law of supply and demand states that the abundance of strawberries in June makes the product cheaper than in the off-season.

No less convincing argument is, perhaps, simply the need to support local producers.

Ultimately, whether you eat in-season or out-of-season is not something you should worry about in the first place. Although, of course, careful attention to this issue has its advantages!

Veronika Kuzmina


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