I love the idea of – Eat local. Eat organic. Eat free Range and eat what’s in season.
We spend so much time just buying whatever is on the supermarket shelves and get confused by all the messages about what to eat and where to buy it? So having checked this out for ourselves, when we teach the Art of artisan pasta classes at our cooking school and supported local markets, organic food farms, food suppliers, butchers, bakers and people, around the 4 seasons of the year this is what we think and believe in.
The Cost of Living
Great place to start because food is expensive. When produce is in season in your area, the fact that there is usually a lot of it, usually makes it less expensive. Think of the pre-packed mini herbs you see in a supermarket during the winter especially – You run out of basil, but they sell you pot plants grown in a hot house and the rest like sage is limp and light grey or mottled and moldy leaves in all packs, and their price is double to summer and spring. In contrast, the magnificent, crisp basil and sage and Italian parsley you see in Woolies, Checkers and Food lovers and at the local boeremark or farmers market in the summer when the crops are in season often sells for as little as half price for an lovely bunch. It’s the basic law of supply and demand, and when crops are in season you’ll be rewarded with better prices with what is growing now. So buy your beetroot in winter!!! hmmm!
Your Food Must taste Great – not just OK
For most of us, the taste of the food we buy is every bit as important as the cost, if not more so. When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world, and both affect the taste. When picked early they refrigerated so that they last and can be shipped everywhere and so they often do not ripen.
Remember: Your tomatoes after you buy them place them on the window ledge and let them ripen there for you. Big difference in flavour. Fresh, locally harvested foods have their full, whole flavors intact, which they release to us when we eat them.
Just contact your local outdoor shop and they will tell you whats in season
This is a typical chart for Gauteng.
Save Nutrients, Save Flavor, and Save Petrol as well!
According to Brian Halweil, author of “Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket,” “If you harvest something early so that it can endure a long distance shipping experience, it’s not going to have the full complement of nutrients it might have had.”
Homegrown and in your yard!
Because of limited growing seasons in most regions, it’s virtually impossible to eat locally and in season 100% of the time. So what’s your best bet? If possible, grow it and pick it yourself – you’ll know exactly what went into growing those vegetables and you can enjoy them at their peak the day they are harvested.
If you don’t garden go to the markets and green grocers.
Treat yourself – remember YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!