Local and seasonal food
Each fruit or vegetable has a prime time when it is at its seasonal best. Caterers that use seasonal food often adopt flexible menus that can use and highlight the very best of what is available at a particular time of year, and sometimes featuring unusual or traditional varieties to add extra flavour and interest. This can have great benefits for food quality, with seasonal food being at its peak of flavour, crunch, juiciness and freshness - often also at the best value. There are also considerable benefits for the environment, with seasonal food usually needing less transportation and packaging and lower use of farm chemicals.
Use and promote local and seasonal food
- The London 2012 Food Vision committed to using British and seasonal food, so can you! Sign up to the Food Legacy pledge.
- Buy local and seasonal food via local food directories.
- Design your menus to reflect what is available seasonally, and celebrate seasonal specialities with special dishes and recipes. Use a seasonal food chart to plan your food buying, such as those supplied free of charge by Eat Seasonably and the School Food Trust (which also contains useful information about fish seasonality).
- Tell your customers why your menu features seasonal ingredients and where they come from. Consider joining Eat Seasonably as a catering partner and taking part in British Food Fortnight to promote the best of British and seasonal produce.
What is healthy and sustainable food?
Follow the links below, to find out about support or advice to help turn good food ideas into action: