Monday, 29 July 2013

Seasonal Produce

Why is eating seasonal produce important?

"Being able to eat whatever we want whenever we want is convenient, but it isn’t great for the planet, or even for the cost or flavour."

Food that isn’t in season has usually travelled huge distances, which means that a lot of energy has been used to get it to your local store - a whole lot of unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not just the distance, it’s also the refrigeration along the way, and the energy that goes into packaging and storing it when it arrives. Produce which is in season tends to be local, which means much lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Eating seasonal produce — means produce is picked as close to the time it will be eaten as possible, which means lots of flavour, colour and nutrients. Out of season produce and produce that is transported long distance is harvested early so it doesn’t rot during transit. This doesn't do much for the taste or nutritional value of the food.

What's in season?

According to the Victorian Farmers' Markets Association right now produce in season includes:
  • Beetroot
  • Cabbages
  • Carrots
  • Leek
  • Parsnips, Swedes and Turnips
  • Pumpkins
  • Cauliflower and Broccoli
  • Silver beet, Spinach, Kale
  • Oranges, mandarins, grapefruits etc
  • Rhubarb
As part of our low impact lifestyle one important change we will be making is eating more seasonal produce. 

What's for dinner at our house this week?

Note - this is not an invitation to our friends!

On the weekend to supplement our small veggie patch and source some protein for the week we went to the Coburg Farmers markets. It's part of the Melbourne Farmers Markets; which are: "dedicated to Victorian food and producers, regional food cultures, seasonal produce, biodiversity, sustainable farming practices and the strengthening of relationships between the consumer and the producer." We think this is a great fit with our goal of a low impact lifestyle.

Shepherds pie for dinner tonight!
This week we brought a whole lot of lovely seasonal produce - including Kale, Bok Choi, Carrots, Cabbage, Mushrooms, Beetroot, Spuds, Oranges and Limes. We also bought fresh rye bread, cheese, organic eggs, streaky bacon, mince lamb and lamb chops for protein (we tend to eat a couple of vegetarian meals each week).

The challenge (because one of us likes to be organised) is that menu planning has to take a back seat and be done on the basis of what's in season - and available. So rather than plan our meals, and then head out with a list; we are going to be more flexible and enjoy what's on offer. The menu for the week includes: bacon and egg sandwiches, veggie soup, shepherds pie (with left overs for lunch), a vegetable stir fry, spanish omelette and lamb chops.


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