Learning Seasons: Introduction

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. We all know then by the changing weather. Did you know that green beans or paprika (bell pepper) should only be avalivble in summer. I had no clue! In America we always had everything always.. well for the most part. However, when I moved to Norway I did notice that the produce became more seasonal. The way I see it now is if mother earth is providing certain produce at that time, there must be a good reason for it. Potatoes and squashes are great when it is cold out – great comfort food!

It’s become quite normal to expect supermarkets to be stocked with out-of-season, as well as exotic, produce all year round, and in being able to buy things like green beans in December, we have lost our sense of the seasons. An analysis of 20 common foods was found to have traveled over 100,000 miles 3 to get to our shelves. Not only does this produce vast quantities of greenhouse gases, the longer an item is in storage or travelling, the lower its nutritional content as nutrients diminish naturally with time. Eating locally grown food is therefore better for us. [via]

I have found a great website that is updated daily for what is ‘in season’ – check it out here. The site is for the UK, but Norway being so close and having similar weather in the South West of Norway to the UK – I think that it will suffice! I was reading an interview with Gordon Ramsey on buying locally and seasonally. When asked ‘Where should we buy our fruit and veggies from’ he answered:

In an ideal world, everyone should be sourcing their food direct from local, environmentally sustainable farms, but of course, that’s not practical for everyone.

It is well worth establishing a relationship with good, local greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers who can supply you with the best seasonal offerings. If you are stuck with the local supermarket, then try to pick vegetables that are in their most natural state. For instance, go for whole heads of lettuce rather than bagged salad leaves that are pumped with gasses to keep them fresh but are ultimately devoid of vitamins and flavour.

What do you think?