Chocolate strawberries at the Christmas market, fresh carrots over Easter and avocados are always on offer anyway . When was the last time you had to do without a special fruit or vegetable, because it was not available in the supermarket (sold out doesn’t count)? Thanks to technologies such as temperature-controlled greenhouses and long transport routes from all over the world, fruits and vegetables can also be offered out of season.
What Has That Got To Do With Food Waste?
In the food industry , as in other sectors, demand determines supply. As long as we buy out-of-season produce and tropical fruits from everywhere, supermarkets will provide us with this supply.
However, this requires very long transport distances, which increase the risk that something will become overripe before it arrives. In the worst case, food will even spoil – this is also food waste, or more precisely, food loss. You can read more about this in our article “Food Loss Or Food Waste?”.
So, if you make sure to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of those from far away, less food waste will end up in the bins of logistic companies.
The next level variant would be to completely do without transport and instead grow your favourite products yourself in your own garden. Let’s start smaller for now. But this is what we can already reveal: a contribution on the topic of gardening or regrowing is still to come!
The Difference Between Global And Local Seasonality
Seasonal consumption only helps in the case of local seasonality. A product is locally seasonal if it is consumed at the same place where it was harvested, i.e. if the transport route was as short as possible. For example, apples that are harvested in Europe in autumn are also eaten here in autumn.
The situation is different with apples that are eaten in spring or summer. They usually come from New Zealand and have been transported a very long way. Then we speak of global seasonality.
The apple example in particular shows that seasonal does not always mean seasonal, because if you don’t look into it more closely (as I did some time ago), you would never think that apples had such a long journey to Germany. After all, there are apple trees everywhere. But like any other fruit or vegetable, apples need their preferred climatic conditions in order to grow. And with the changeable weather in Europe, these are only available at certain times of the year.
Your Benefits From Seasonal Eating
- The nutritional content is highest when harvested at the peak of ripeness. And this can only be guaranteed with local products, as food from the other side of the world sometimes has to be harvested up to two months before ripeness in order to reach us on time.
- Farmers do not have to use chemicals to “force” the fruit to grow, which keeps the taste authentic and therefore much better.
- It’s diverse, because you can use different produce in each season, i.e. each month. Yes, I know, often you have your favourite fruit and would love to eat it every season, but sometimes you have to be forced to try something new.
This is simply because the cultivation is less time-consuming, as the climatic conditions are naturally given and vegetables grow fastest (and in masses) that way. Moreover, there is no need to use expensive chemicals or greenhouses to speed up the process, and there is no need for long transport, which would also have to be paid for.
What's In Season?
For this June and July, we have compiled an overview of the products that are in season in Germany:
Title Image by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
Strawberry by Inha Pauliuchenka on Unsplash
Raspberry by Davies Designs Studio on Unsplash
Currant by Pixabay on Pexel
Cherry by Vino Li on Unsplash
Rhubarb by Kulbir on Pexel
Onions by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash
Radish by Kindel Media on Unsplash
Kohlrabi by Alesia Kozik on Unsplash