This month I’m focusing on seasonal produce. I’ve challenged myself to make a dish with a different local, seasonal ingredient each week. You can listen to the first episode of this challenge here:
Eating in season: Why should we care?
Not all food is grown and harvested in all seasons and growing food out of its normal season is energy-intensive. Some produce grown in greenhouses, with heat and water requirements. Other produce grown in hotter regions, requiring additional transportation.
Because so much of this activity happens in long supply chains that are invisible to us, we consumers have become immune to the seasons. If you can get a tomato every day of the year, you may forget when they naturally grown.
Use a produce calendar to check what’s in season where you live. I used a calendar at regional-saisonal.de (in German) to plan my purchases. Their website also has recipes for regional fruits and vegetables.
Other ways to start eating in season include:
- shopping at farmers’ markets,
- eating at establishments that serve local, seasonal food,
- joining a CSA – community supported agriculture (e.g., through localharvest.org in the U.S. or an Ökokiste or Abokiste in Germany)
This month, my goal is to buy local, seasonal produce at least once a week and prepare in a way that my family will eat. In April in Germany, that means: spinach, asparagus, leeks, porree and mushrooms. Also, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets, red and white cabbage, and onions harvested earlier can be stored and available from local farmers.
Again, setbacks in my family life made it hard to find the time for the challenge. But I managed to buy potatoes and carrots at my local organic supermarket. The potatoes went into a freeze-dried corn chowder mix. I steamed the carrots, added butter and seasoning salt, voila! Carrots and potatoes are easy: even not in season, they can be stored energy-efficiently. And Germany is the land of potatoes!
What’s giving me hope this week
A big thanks to my friend David from QUENTZ, who has graciously let me use an old song he recorded about nuclear energy in the podcast. The song, “Die Sonne scheint für umme” is funny, silly, and makes a serious point. The sun shines for free/ Nuclear power is for dummies. Thanks, David!