• 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.

Everybody’s doing it #3

Domestic goddess rating: 10% (hubby roasting again tonight) Five-a-day: 5/5 Food miles: about 40

On the menu: Scrambled eggs and bacon (second cooked breakfast this weekend – yum!); pasta and pesto (lunch); roast pork, parsnips, kale and roast potatoes (supper)

I discovered Sustain today – it’s a group campaigning for “better food and farming”. It was formed in 1999 and is a charity which advises and lobbies the government – it’s made up of organisations involved in farming and food production.

Now this is amazing – it might as well be called the Campaign for Seasonal Eating.

One of the main planks of its philosophy is the idea of “sustainable food”. Which means:

  • local, seasonally available ingredients
  • environmentally-friendly farming practices
  • cut down on meat and increase vegetable production
  • choose fish only from sustainable sources
  • avoid bottled water
  • eat more fruit and veg

Recognise a few of these themes?

This won’t be the last time this organisation appears here – recent reports they’ve published include one on how the food industry is abusing terms like “local”, “seasonal” and “farmers’ market” – as I found recently, it’s not hard to come up with examples of this kind of thing happening, even among those who should know better. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one to notice!

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