Eating in season

Over three-fifths of Brits want to shop seasonally in a bid to become more sustainable

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 30 July 2021

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod


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A new poll has revealed that less than half (44%) of Brits know when some of the UK’s most well-known fruit and vegetables are in season – and that supermarkets do little to help.
Eating seasonally means to eat foods that are naturally ready to harvest at the same time of year that you are eating them.

As a nation, we’ve grown used to having whatever food we want at any time of the year.  
The problem is that getting out-of-season produce to the UK means flying it in from overseas, or employing agriculturally intensive farming methods, such as using pesticides and fertilisers, to force them to grow all year. 
Food that travels far is also often wrapped in a lot of plastic packaging to avoid it being damaged in transit.

Why to shop seasonally

Eating locally produced seasonal food is tastier and healthier, and better for our environment, too.  
Despite this, new research from the UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers – a partnership between British and Irish farmers – has found that just 31% of Brits shop seasonally, with a further 44% confessing they are ‘clueless’ about when their favourite fruit and vegetables are in season. 
When questioned, 17% believed British and Irish mushrooms are only grown at home during the autumn, when in fact they are available 365 days a year. 
15% think potatoes are only picked during the summer months, but like the humble fungi, are available all year.

Support UK growers

It also seems consumers are confused about what fruit and vegetables can be grown at home. 
Almost one in three of the 2,000 adults polled think trendy avocados can be grown in the UK and Ireland, but in reality they are only available when internationally sourced. 

The UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers believes supermarkets need to better support UK food production or risk future supply disruption.

‘Each year, less fruit and vegetables eaten in the country are UK and Irish grown.

‘Despite there being enough British and Irish mushrooms available to fulfil the nation’s needs, some supermarkets still source internationally – and we’re not the only category to experience this.’

Spokesperson for the UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers

Getting your five a day

Staying healthy has never been more important, and one way to get essential vitamins whilst remaining indoors is by eating five a day.

Knowing what is in season and choosing locally sourced produce also means shoppers can be sure to pack in the most nutrients, as those which have travelled fewer miles will be fresher and of higher quality.

‘Understanding seasonal eating can help when buying the freshest, most nutritious vegetables, a little closer to home. The Seasonal Vegetable League Table brings to life just where our vegetables come from, when out of season and helps people support local farmers who produce high quality veg right on your doorstep.

‘Swap your Sunday morning smashed avocado for some delicious mushrooms and not only support local businesses but play a part in reducing your carbon footprint by choosing lower food mile options.’

Spokesperson for the UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers

Seasonal Vegetable League Table

There is appetite for change. According to the data, 63% of those surveyed stated they would shop seasonally in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint.

In response, The UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers has released a Seasonal Vegetable League Table. The table takes the nation’s 10 most popular vegetables and illustrates when they’re in season and how far they have to be transported to get to your supermarket.

The table reveals that two in five (40%) everyday veggies – including mushrooms, potatoes, carrots and green leaves – are available all year round.

In contrast, tomatoes are only in season May to October; the rest of the time they are grown elsewhere and have to be transported a minimum of 1,119 miles to reach our supermarket shelves.

The Seasonal Vegetable League Table has been created to help people consume more consciously at a time when plant-based consumption continues to rise and over 60% of shoppers are actively looking to eat more vegetable-based meals on a weekly basis.
Click here to view the table.

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