We’ve teamed up with the Co-op up promote sustainable eating through local, seasonal food, but why?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why buying produce that is in season where you live can be beneficial.
It supports Scottish and UK producers
When you buy fruit or vegetables that are in season, then they are likely to have been grown in the UK and you’re therefore helping to support local businesses and farmers.
Did you know the Co-op support a range of UK producers?
Find out more about how they support producers on their website and remember you can get 10% off with your Young Scot National Entitlement Card.
It’s likely to taste better!
Obviously, taste is subjective and can vary in what you are eating depending on a number of factors.
However, food that is grown near you and sold in season, such as fruit or vegetables, is going to be fresher compared to something that has been imported.
This is because they are able to be harvested, transported to be sold and eaten by you in a much shorter timeframe and so will preserve their ripeness much better.
You will have a nutritious and varied diet
The vitamin and mineral content of your food is also likely to be better when eating seasonally as it is grown in the optimum conditions.
Nutrients in fresh food begin to degrade immediately after they are picked so being able to source local food quickly after it has been harvested will help prevent losing some of this nutritional value from your food.
Preservatives are also added to food including meat, poultry and fish if they need to stored for longer periods of time, some of which can have negative effects on your health.
Likewise, by eating what is in season, you are eating a variety of food year-round depending on what is on offer at that time which means you are likely to try out new things and maintain a balanced diet compared with eating the same foods all the time.
It will also be cheaper
Food that is sold in season doesn’t have the same requirements in terms of things like storage, transportation, refrigeration and freezing costs as well as being cheaper to actually grow because the environmental conditions are all present so there is no need to pay for extra lighting or heating requirements.
All of this adds up and is reflected in the final cost when you go to buy something in your local shop, making local produce which is in season a cheaper option.
It can have environmental benefits
It’s not a simple as saying that buying in season and local is 100% more environmentally friendly all of the time. There are a lot of factors to consider, and it can be difficult to measure precisely which types of food involve less emissions throughout their lifespan and journey to the shelves of our local shop.
However, some of the environmental impacts caused by human consumption of food can be lessened by buying local and in-season.
Less transportation means less carbon emitted by vehicles involved in the food supply chain, likewise, shorter refrigeration or freezing periods for food will reduce the carbon emitted.
When growing food out of season, there is likely to be extra emissions generated by artificial heating and lighting, so that gets cut out by growing food in the optimum conditions provided naturally.
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Find out more about eating in season on our Seasonal Scran landing page.