It’s Autumn! Which means pumpkin spice latte season! But wait… why are pumpkin spice lattes even a thing this time of year?
It’s because pumpkins are ‘in season’. That means this time of year is when this particular vegetable ripens and is best eaten.
Eating seasonally means eating food that's naturally ripe and ready for harvest in your local area at the time, instead of imported foods from different climates around the world.
Eating organic, seasonal food, or food that you've grown at home can make a big difference in cutting down your food miles, helping to make your diet more sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint.
What does it mean to be in season?
Different fruits and vegetables grow and ripen at different times of year, in line with the seasons. Eating seasonally means eating food that's naturally ripe and ready for harvest in your local area at the time.
What’s the alternative?
Ever seen a pineapple growing in the UK in December? Nope - we haven't either! There are so many foods available to us now from all around the world, no matter the time of year. Out of season produce is harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store, often from different climates around the world. The preservation and shipping of these foods also increases their carbon footprint, as they need to be cooled or warmed and transported around the world.
Why buy seasonal?
When foods are ‘in season’, this is the best time to eat them – they’re at their tastiest and most nutritious! If that’s not reason enough to eat seasonally, let us convince you why in-season eating is best.
Seasonal foods cost less! Because they’re ripening right now, it means there’s a surplus of fruit and vegetables ready to eat. With supply and demand at play, the high supply means prices go down.
Locally grown food harvested at the peak of its freshness and at the height of its season are more likely to have experienced less artificial intervention to grow. This means fewer pesticides and chemicals involved in their production.
Purchasing locally grown foods helps support local farms and maintains farmland and open space in your community. Even better still if you can buy from farmers’s markets!
We can reduce the carbon footprint of our food by up to 6% if you eat the seasons and eat locally.
You can also reduce food waste by eating seasonally. The longer food spends in storage and transit, the higher the chance of it spoiling and becoming waste. More than half of all food waste occurs along the supply chain.
What’s in season now?
Pumpkins of course! Not to mention all the foods we tend to enjoy in the cooler months. Here’s just a few of our top in-season favourites for October and November:
- The last of the blackberries, raspberries and plums
- Chestnuts & hazelnuts