• In season now: May

    New this month: Asparagus! The food of gods... and carrots are back.

    Still in season from last month: cauliflower, chard, green cabbage, salad leaves, main-crop potatoes (from store), salad leaves, sea kale, spring greens, rhubarb

    Goodbye till next year to: Purple sprouting broccoli (sniff, sniff), leeks, stored parsnips, forced rhubarb

  • What I’m doing here

    This all started when I picked the first strawberries from my new allotment.

    I'd never been so enraptured or so excited by food. It was a shock to find that anything could taste so good.

    So what - I'd never had strawberries before?

    No - all the strawberries I'd had were shop-bought, like as not flown in from intensive growers in Spain or Chile, and eaten in winter when strawberries should be a distant summer memory.

    It revolutionised my thinking about the fresh food we eat every day. I started to wonder if you got the same amazing taste from all types of food grown and eaten in season. And then I decided to do something about it.

    The Year of Eating Seasonally is my little experiment to find out what it's really like not to have it all. The only fruit and veg I and my family are going to eat in 2008 will be what's growing in the ground at the time (or, in winter, what I can get out of store).

    I want to find out if the hungry gap is really as hungry as everyone says it is: whether you're really eating nothing but cabbage all winter; and whether you miss strawberries in December.

    Along the way I hope I'll save a few tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere on my behalf, as I won't be requiring those French beans flown from Chile, thanks very much. And I hope I'll be rediscovering what food can really taste like.

    If you have any comments, please feel free to post them anywhere you like - or you can email me at sallywhite@hotmail.com.

Just eat food

Domestic goddess rating: 0% (hubby taking the load today) Five-a-day: 3/5 Food miles: none… but then I haven’t really been eating fresh today

On the menu: Toast, jam & juice (breakfast); cheese & pickle sandwich (lunch); meatballs and spaghetti (supper)

I’ve been listening to Michael Pollan being interviewed today on the Food Programme on Radio 4. In case you haven’t come across him yet, he’s been stirring up a hornet’s nest with his views in a recent book he wrote on “proper” food. I quote:

“Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food. Don’t buy anything with more than five ingredients on the label. And only eat at tables: a desk is not a table.”

He’s trying to turn back the tide of what he calls “edible food-like substances” you find in the supermarket, in favour of simple, non-processed, real food.

The great thing is, he believes, that if you do this you don’t have to worry any more about how much sugar, fat, salt or vitamins you’re eating. You can take it for granted that you’re getting what you need from the fresh food you’re cooking.

He’s putting into words what I’m discovering for myself through my year of eating seasonally. It’s a breath of fresh air in a confusing world.

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