Eat seasonal

Eat local, seasonal food

Add some seasonal variety to your diet, enjoy the fresh taste of local food and dramatically cut down your carbon footprint.

By eating seasonal, locally produced food, you can reduce your carbon emissions by almost a tonne a year - equivalent to a return flight from London to Boston.1

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Climate change

Powering hothouses and flying fresh fruit and veg around the world uses a lot of energy. For example, 250g pack of asparagus air-freighted from Peru uses 3.5kg of carbon (or CO2e) whereas the same amount of asparagus grown in the UK is responsible for just 125g carbon (or CO2e).2

It’s important to consider seasonality as well as locality as local doesn’t always mean lower carbon. For example, in winter it’s more efficient to import tomatoes from Spain than grow them in a British hot house, but in summer British grown is the outright winner.

Bear in mind how things are imported - foods like berries, asparagus, and salads that have a short shelf life have to be flown in, giving them a far higher carbon footprint than things like bananas, kiwis and sweet potatoes that are shipped.

77%

of all fruit consumed in the UK is imported.3

Money

Eating fruit and veg when it’s in season locally is often cheaper. For example, strawberries cost less in the summer when they’re grown here as they have lower transport costs.

It’s expensive to fly food here, so it’s not just the environment that pays!

Health

Eating a more diverse range of plants improves your gut health4, which has all sorts of happy benefits such as; improved skin, sleep, digestion and mood. Not to mention the enjoyment factor of discovering new foods!

The longer fruit is left on the plant, the more nutrients it is able to soak up.5

Goods shipped from the other side of the world are often picked days or even weeks before they are ripe, resulting in them being less nutritionally mature. Fruit and veg can also lose vitamins and minerals in storage, so by eating fresh, seasonal produce that’s been picked at the peak of its ripeness you’ll get more bang for your buck.

Global Goals

In September 2017, an historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Eat seasonably' pledge, you are contributing to the following SDG targets:

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

15.a: Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems

How

Buying only local, seasonal food can be a challenge at first, but once you've got it cracked it'll be super rewarding.

Here are some tips to help you on your way:

Why not pledge to put your Green fingers to the test and grow your own - it doesn't get more local than that!

Success Stories

1,657

Pledges
in total

85,048kg

CO2
pledged

I visit our local farmers market multiple times a week and fill up on great locally grown vegetables and fruits.

Got a vegetable bag from the local farmer and it was great. Still want some not in season fruits…

Thanks to this pledge I discovered some great local shops with a high quality and tasty products. For sure, I will continue eating seasonal fruit and veg!

I'm still eating lots of bananas! However, I've consciously only bought British, seasonable F&V for everything else. It's been an easy ride so far though, as this time of year is so full of produce!

I now have a calendar on my kitchen wall that reminds me of in seasonal fruit and veg!

It was a very useful target. In my weekly shop, I aimed for 2/3 local and made sure I went to the local greengrocer to buy it.

This pledge was one of my favourite ones. Even though it meant spending slightly more on food, I do think our household are a lot better and enjoyed fresh fruit and vegetables a lot more.

More locally sourced fruit and veg eaten. I have also been foraging for blackberries and eaten / cooked with them.

we try to buy UK fruit and veg when possible and also we always look for organic now

I was more aware and avoided imported foods where possible, using the Riverford UK box where possible. However, I did get bored and sick of root veg, so eventually did have some veg from Spain. But I am more conscious of this now.

I feel much healthier and will definitely continue doing this.

Will continue to eat UK seasonal produce in season or as long as available in store. Obviously more difficult for produce not grown in UK but aim to reduce these purchases and choose those with shorter miles.

I managed to shop at my local Farmers market for a Sunday lunch, fresh organic chicken and veg etc.

Cut out some of the non-seasonal luxuries but could definitely do more!

I signed up to an organic veg box that puts seasonality first. It has been great to explore different recipes and it's definitely made me think more about how I shop for fruit and veg and where it's come from.

tastier!! and cheaper

It's cheaper and you don't get disappointed by things like fresh fruit which is out of season and not very good. I am going to try hard to become more informed and always eat seasonally!

I enjoyed focusing on it. We have our own small garden so that helped a lot. Winter will make it more challenging to do but I will continue to try to eat locally.

This made my diet more interesting and varied too :-)

Found some local farm shops so easy done from now.

Thanks, I enjoyed the pledge and most probably will continue.

References

Images

Climate Change Image - David Todd Mcarty
Health Image - Michal Hlavac