From: CSA

Eating Seasonally – Field Report: April 21, 2015

Eating seasonally. That can be a terrifying idea for people living in northern climates where we see snow for the better part of 6 months or more. It seems like an idea that only people living in California can afford to do. It may even seem dangerous to consider eating seasonally when we’re concerned about whether or not our bodies can get proper nutrition through those long winter months.

We’d like to start thinking a little bit differently about eating seasonally and we invite you to share in building this idea with us. Each week this season, we’re going to give you the tools to not only preserve foods in their prime for the long winter months, but also begin to celebrate and enjoy foods at their best.

And as is the case with most endeavours, this journey will be enhanced by many good books that will help educate and inspire us. Our first step is to start thinking differently about when we eat what we eat and to help us along are these excerpts from Barbara Kingsolver’s book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”:

Respecting the dignity of a spectacular food means enjoying it at its best.

Our vegetables have come to lack two features of interest: nutrition and flavour. Storage and transport take their tolls on the volatile plant compounds that subtly add up to taste and food value. Breeding to increase shelf life also has tended to decrease palatability. Bizarre as it seems, we’ve accepted a trade off that amounts to: “Give me every vegetable in every season, even if it tastes like a cardboard picture of its former self.” You’d think we cared more the idea of what we’re eating than about what we’re eating.

Waiting for foods to come into seasons means tasting them when they’re good, but also part of most value equations. Treating food this way can help move “eating” in the consumer’s mind from the Routine Maintenance Department over to the the Division of Recreation. It’s hard to reduce our modern complex of food choices to unifying principles but this is one that general works: eating home-cooked meals from whole, in-season ingredients obtained from the most local source available is eating well in every sense.