At a glance, supporting local businesses and buying seasonal vegetables don’t seem to go hand in hand – but they do. Yasmin Maassarani finds out more…
The convenience of supermarkets and the plentiful supply of fruit and vegetables all year round means that many of us no longer know what is in season. Early this year Bordbia officially launched its ‘Best in Season’ campaign with the aim to educate us. Its web site has a useful calendar that clearly shows when Irish fruit and vegetables are in season.
What are the benefits of buying seasonal produce?
Did you ever wonder why celebrity TV chefs are always cooking with the seasonal produce? Firstly, it means that you are buying produce when it is at its cheapest, so this means you will get better value for money. Secondly, seasonal produce tastes so much better than fruit and vegetables that have been forced to grow under artificial conditions or that have been imported from overseas and ripened in transit. Finally, by buying Irish produce in season you are supporting Irish producers and therefore supporting Irish jobs.
Buying in season means:
- Buying vegetables that are more nutritious than vegetables that are out of season;
- Saving money in your weekly shop;
- Supporting local farmers, businesses and producers; and
- Supporting Irish jobs.
How much do we spend?
Last year, €1.8bn was spent on fresh produce in Ireland. Wouldn’t it be great if more of this was spent on Irish seasonal produce —think how many jobs that could support?
What’s in season now?
To be honest, just think back to the dinners your Mum or Grandma used to make and you’ll have a grip on many of the vegetables that are in season at the moment. These include: root vegetables such as leeks; carrots; beetroot and parsnips. In addition, greens such as cabbage, broccoli (purple sprouting broccoli from December), brussel sprouts and cauliflowers.
If you are unsure just check out the Bordbia calendar. Check it out next time you make your shopping list, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how you can save on your weekly shopping bill. And what’s more, you’ll be supporting local jobs too!
Contemporary Living’s ‘Do Your Bit’ Campaign
Support Contemporary Living’s ‘Do Your Bit’ Campaign by making a commitment to spend a minimum of €10 of your weekly shop in a local business; and, in the run-up to Christmas ensure that you purchase some of your Christmas gifts locally.
If you are interested in shopping local you should read:
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