Thursday, 26 January 2012

How to choose your fruit and veges when they are in season

We are being extolled to eat more fruit and veges, grow our own and even have meatless meals everywhere you turn at the moment. And I think this is a good thing! I used to go to the supermarket as most suburban dwellers do - and week after week, month after month I noticed that the selection of fruit and veges barely changed. We had an visitor from Switzerland recently and I proudly bought some mango's, watermelon, rock melon and strawberries for him to taste, assuming that Switzerland didn't grow these and this would be a good Australian experience for him - He explained that, of course he had had all these things before, they were in his supermarket in his home town (that was three feet deep in snow at the time!) That really got me to wondering about how fresh and how good my local supermarket fruits and veges were - and where it all came from

I now go to the local markets and whilst the fruit and veges is fresher and I can ask the sellers about their products - some stalls, I notice, have the same unchanging array of fruits and veges as my local supermarket. How can this be?

I finally figured out a way to make sure I was getting seasonal fruit - as in buying it when it was in season (and fresh) rather than out of season (and six months old)...

Here's what I did...

I went on line and found a website that gave me a month by month list of fruits and veges at their peak harvests.

Wilsons Fresh Produce - Brisbane. Seasonal Calendar.

I printed this up and then put it on my fridge...

So now before I go to the shops or markets, I glance at the list for the month and note what should be on the shelves - and that's what I buy! If its not on the list, I don't buy it anymore.

For me this means that I am getting my fruit and veges with the maximum amount of nutrition, as fresh as I'm going to get here in the suburbs without growing my own and with far less food miles (and storage costs) to boot! It's gotta be good for you!

Score card:
Green-ness:  5/5 Eating local season fruits and veges is very green!!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 Local seasonal fruit and veges are usually cheaper - especially if you buy them when there is a glut
Time cost: 2 minutes to print and put on the fridge. 5 seconds to glance at it and remind your self whats in season as you walk out the door.
Skill level: One of the easiest things you can do to increase your awareness of whats in season!
Fun-ness: Its fun to see out of season, super expensive mango's at the supermarket and know that in 3 months time you will be able to get them 3 for $1, fresher and better than these ones from America!! 

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