Season Cooking

Why eat seasonally?

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As you may know, I am passionate about eating seasonally. In fact it is my mission here at The Modern Mess to encourage you to be a great seasonal home cook.

What is seasonal cooking? Eating seasonally means eating what grows naturally outside around where you live at a particular time of the year. Eating locally. In Aotearoa, New Zealand eating locally means the whole of Aotearoa as some things grow better in different parts of the country.

 

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There are of course a few exceptions to this rule and with most things in life I aim to do my best 80% of the time.

Bananas, they don’t grow here but bananas seem to be a household staple. Also for me, Pomegranates, I just love them and they appear here in the shops around Christmas and they are just so pretty. I can however report that we have planted two Pomegranate trees in our garden so, who knows, I may be able to cross this one off the list one day!

Pineapples and Mangos are also favourites that also don’t grow here.

Anyway, here are 6 reasons why you should try to eat more seasonally.

 

6 reasons to eat seasonally

Flavour

Fruit and vegetables that are allowed to fully ripen in the sun taste so much better! The flavour of a tomato picked straight off the vine or an apple picked straight off the tree is incomparable to one grown in Winter indoors or cold stored for 6 months.

Value

Fruit and vegetables that are plentiful at a particular time of year are always going to be cheaper. An abundance of a particular fruit or vegetable will bring the price down as growers would rather sell there produce than not at all.

Higher nutritional value

Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when they are ripe and fully developed. The produce has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants!

It’s FRESH

Local and seasonal produce, especially at your local farmers market is picked a few days before you are about to buy it. This means it lasts much longer than supermarket produce that sits in cool stores or on the shelf. And much longer than produce that is flown over from the other side of the world.

Better for the environment

Seasonal produce is more likely to be grown without human assistance. So less chemical herbicides and pesticides. Plus less food miles!

Community connection

Getting to know who grows your produce is such a wonderful thing. It helps support local agriculture, reduce food miles and bring communities together. It also helps spread the knowledge of growing produce.

Where is the best place to shop?

The best place to head if you would like to eat more seasonally is your local farmers market. Make a habit of it and head there each weekend.

In Ōtautahi we are also lucky to have multiple farm to table vegetable box services that deliver to the door. You can customise your box and even add fruit, bread and extras. I love getting my delivery each Thursday.

I get my local produce box from Streamside Organics. Other local vegetable box providers are Toha Kai, Untamed Earth, Laughing Pukeko Organics (seasonal and CSA) and Ooooby. We are spoiled for choice in Canterbury.

Have a google of vegetable box providers near you.

Get creative with what is in season and make it delicious! Join The Modern Mess below for 1000+ seasonal recipes.