Seasonal meal planning means that we plan our meals based around the produce that grows during a certain season. Basically, focusing on what grows in your area, during that specific time.
QUESTION: Are all foods seasonal? A) No B) Yes
Explanation. Nowadays we can buy and eat a wide variety of foods all year around because a) foods can be transported around the world on lorries, boats and even planes and b) farms use large greenhouses to control the temperature and create perfect growing conditions. Thus, tropical fruits can come from places with hot climates like Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
However, some foods are not seasonal. Meat and dairy can be produced all year around. Cows are milked and chickens produce eggs from January all the way to December.
QUESTION: The only reason to eat local food is to save money. A) False B) True
Explanation: It is true that the longer food travels from the farm or food industry to the grocery store, the higher the cost for the families – as food grown locally in-season is tastier and cheaper to buy. However, there are other reasons to prefer seasonal food.
When you create your own meal plan for a season, then you could transfer it to the next month or season, according to seasonal or recipes for every season or months.
Every family should know the guideline of what produce, specially fresh fruits and vegetables, is in season for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter or in every month, in their country or region, because the weather conditions vary around the world and also the seasonal grown produce.
Next, we attach several national guides of seasonal foods to several countries:
QUESTION: It is possible only eating seasonal food?
Some countries have been involved in several projects that aim to encourage the consumption of seasonal and local food, and thus reduce the environmental impact of diets. Examples include ‘The Fife Diet’ in Scotland, 100-mile diet in Canada, and the Nordic diet. There have been attempts to eat only locally produced foods for a whole year – actually, this is how the 100-mile diet started. A couple in Canada wanted to see if it was possible to only consume food produced within a 100-mile radius of Vancouver. Even though they were in fact able to achieve this, they explained that preparing food was too time-consuming and laborious, comparing it to a part time job. Also, they shared how difficult it was to eat a varied and balanced diet throughout the year. This is just an extreme, yet interesting, approach to seasonal eating, however, it works to identify some of the obstacles that can appear and need to be appreciated when implementing this practice.