In the past there were strawberries in May, cherries in summer and grapes in October. Today, the wide range of products that supermarkets offer all year long, is the benchmark of possibilities. Thanks to modern cultivation, storage and transport techniques, numerous types of fruits and vegetables can now be bought almost all year round. But just because citrus fruits and tomatoes are nicely lined up in the supermarket it does not mean that this is good for our environment.
Environmental and health impacts
Long journeys of food, especially by plane, have a negative impact on the climate. The same applies if domestic products are grown outside the season in heated greenhouses, for example tomatoes. They simply like it hot and are therefore mostly imported from countries like South Africa or Morocco. This is reflected in the energy consumption.
The choice of local seasonal products, on the other hand, has advantages for health, the environment and the palate. Unnecessary environmental pollution due to long transport distances and excessive water consumption during cultivation in dry regions can be avoided. In addition, domestic products usually have fewer residues of pesticides than imported goods, but above all: it simply tastes better!
More taste on the plate
But when exactly do tomatoes come from Germany? And which salad can you eat in winter? What sounds like a restriction at first is an opportunity to rediscover the diversity of the changing seasons. While in Germany for example, the largest selection of vegetables and fruit is available between June and October, lettuce has two seasons: summer and winter. Butterhead and iceberg lettuce can be grown in Germany during summer, rocket and lamb's lettuce during winter. If you don't know exactly when and what is available regionally, the seasonal calendar will help you. The calender offers a clear overview of all temporary regional products and is a perfect shopping aid. So you always have the delicacies of the seasons firmly in view. Those who cannot do without summer vegetables in winter should switch to canned food and pickled vegetables in jars. The tasty alternatives are harvested when ripe and have even more nutrients than fresh imported foods.
Even the cold months have great seasonal vegetables to offer: Turnips, beetroot, celeriac, pumpkin, potatoes, leeks, sweet potatoes and mushrooms, but also salads such as lamb's lettuce, chicory, radicchio, endive or purslane - it doesn't get boring on the plate. Not to forget: Winter time is also cabbage time! Whether red cabbage, green cabbage or Brussels sprouts - everything is available with a regional origin. If you can't and won't do without fresh fruit, you can rely on apples and pears and create some delicious desserts, spiced up with local chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts.