We can all do our bit to make Scotland a cleaner and greener place to live, and making smarter food choices is a great place to start.
Scotland’s larder offers an abundance of fresh, in season produce all year round but many of us have lost touch with what we should be eating when, to enjoy foods at their best.
That’s why the Scottish Government has launched Happier Mealtimes, to help people across the country find locally sourced, in season food, and how to prepare it. Local, in season food is tasty, healthy and can often be cheaper. It’s also readily available, bursting with flavour and goodness, so rustling up delicious meals needn’t be difficult.
This year is the Year of Food and Drink in Scotland, making it the perfect time to explore the wealth of tasty food Scotland produces and enjoys, from fruit and vegetables to meat, fish and dairy. Using local suppliers and sourcing in-season food not only supports the local economy, it contributes to a greener, healthier lifestyle with the added bonus of knowing that your food has travelled directly from farm to fork.
Sourcing local and seasonal food couldn’t be easier, here are some practical tips to get you started: Get to know your local supermarkets, local greengrocers, fishmongers, butchers and farmers’ markets. Local and in-season produce is easy to find when you know how, and there is a wide range of produce to suit all tastes and budgets. Know what’s in season. Using in-season and local food means what you eat is fresh and tasty; it can help keep shopping bills down too. Because it takes less energy to grow and has less distance to travel, it costs less to produce and transport, which often means lower prices.
Understand the benefits of eating local – lower carbon emissions, economic growth and healthier lifestyles are amongst a number of reasons to eat fresh and local.
Fraser Reid, owner of Dundee greengrocer Fraser’s Fruit and Veg, said his priority is to source a wide variety of local seasonal produce to help his customers cook healthy, fresh and affordable food at home.
Passionate about Scotland’s abundant larder, Fraser sources as much local produce as possible from around the Tayside area.
Fraser said: “My produce comes from farms surrounding Dundee and it’s great to tell people, and in particular children, that come into the shop that the broccoli that they are about to eat for their tea was just taken out of the ground that morning. It is a really good way of encouraging them to think about what they are eating and where it comes from.”
By choosing to eat food that’s in season and by celebrating our natural larder, you will help to make Scotland a cleaner, greener place, and have Happier Mealtimes.
For more tips, recipes and further information on the importance of finding and eating locally sourced, in season food and how to prepare it, visit www.www.greenerscotland.org/eat-greener-avoid-waste