I blogged recently about it being apple season (you can read that post here). We're eating a lot of apple crumbles at the moment! This got me thinking about the seasonality of food. These days, if you buy food from a supermarket or a large grocer you are likely not to notice that there is such a thing as seasonal food (except for pumpkins at Hallowe'en and Brussels sprouts at Christmas). Fruit and vegetables are imported from across the globe so that we can eat what we want when we want. The planes and ships that transport the food produce a lot of greenhouse gases, which cause climate change. Produce that travels halfway across the world has lost quality and taste by the time it reaches our plates.
Also I think we've forgotten some of the enjoyment of food being seasonal. Strawberries are much more special if you can only eat them for a few weeks of the year and the local grown ones taste so much better.
When I lived in Malawi, the seasonality of food was much more obvious, largely because there were no large supermarkets. There were no pineapples for most of the year and then for two weeks (in November I seem to remember?) there seemed to be nothing but pineapples, which we bought and hoarded in our kitchen. A month later there were no more pineapples and we had to wait 11 months for the next one.
Seasonal food helps to reconnect us with, well, the seasons and the natural cycles that we are a part of, much though most of us try to deny it.
Eat the Seasons is an online resource about seasonal food in the UK. It acknowledges that certain foods are now part of our eating experience even though they don't grow in the UK. So it advises eating Spanish oranges in season, rather than those imported from further away but suggests that importing from overseas is unnecessary when the food is grown in the UK.