Try 'seasonal'. Be vocal about eating 'local'?
Updated: Jun 23, 2022
How far have your fruit and vegetables travelled before they landed on your plate? Have you ever stopped to think about where they come from, how they grow, what climate they grow in, and in which season are they at their best?
We are all creatures of habit – would you agree? ‘I like chopped banana on my cereal’ or ‘blueberries in my yoghurt’, or ‘cucumber sticks in my packed lunch’. Young Climate Warriors need to be brave and adventurous. To help cut our carbon emissions we need to eat ‘seasonally’ when we can – this means maybe replacing the imported blueberries or bananas with British strawberries, blackberries or even gooseberries (how adventurous are you - have you tried them?). Or maybe you can learn to like spinach and courgettes that grow really easily in the UK summer, instead of cucumbers that prefer growing in a warmer climate. Your challenge this week is to work out the country of origin of the fruit and vegetables you eat, and then ask your parent/carer if you could try to eat more local and seasonal produce.
Have you heard about food miles? Food miles relate to how far food has travelled to reach your plate, but they can make decisions rather complicated as they are only one part of the carbon footprint story. There are times when food from further afield may have a lower carbon footprint than food grown locally, depending on the carbon emissions related to the cultivation, storage and processing required. The use of heated greenhouses, high levels of fertilizers or pesticides, farm machinery, cold storage containers and packaging can substantially increase a product’s carbon footprint. However, what is definitely the case, is eating local produce when it is in season will help you lower your carbon footprint, and seasonal food that doesn’t have to travel far will be fresher, probably tastier, and have a higher nutritional content! If you’d like to delve down into the numbers you might like to chat with your parent/carer about this bar chart which shows carbon emissions related to food.
If you’re wondering which vegetables are ‘in season’ in the UK in June – the ‘eat the seasons’ website might help. How many of these can you eat over the next few weeks? Asparagus, broad beans, broccoli, courgettes, fennel, french beans, lettuce and salad leaves, pak choi, peas, radishes, rocket, runner beans, spinach, watercress, wild nettles.
Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON and tell us when you have completed this challenge!