Seasonal Eating & Wellbeing
Unlike many European and Mediterranean countries where seasonal eating is deeply ingrained in the culture, some in the UK have grown used to finding any type of food available all year round, whenever and wherever they want it.
So, for this blog, let’s explore the benefits of seasonal eating and how you can integrate this into your employee wellbeing strategy, and ultimately encourage this behaviour in your employees.
What does it mean to eat seasonally?
Seasonal eating involves consuming foods that are locally and naturally available during specific times of the year. It means aligning our diets with the natural rhythm of the seasons, and enjoying the freshest and most nutritious produce when it is at its peak.
Each season brings forth a diverse range of fruits and vegetables that thrive under specific climatic conditions. For instance, during the colder months of autumn and winter, apples flourish, while grapes are a great end of summer seasonal food.
So, when it comes to whether it is good to eat seasonally (it is!), and educating your team on this could help them adopt a balanced diet rich in fibre and nutrients, to thereby benefit their overall health and mental wellbeing.
Is it good to eat seasonally?
With seasonal produce being harvested at its peak, nutritional value is at an all-time high.
Fruits and vegetables that are allowed to fully ripen on the plant before being picked, develop additional essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are vital for overall health by supporting our immune system and boosting energy levels.
But that’s not all. By eating seasonal produce, you can avoid the pesticides, waxes, and any other preservatives used to preserve the food that’s out of season. Because seasonal produce is ripened naturally, they develop a rich and vibrant taste that is unparalleled to out-of-season produce. In peak season, produce is grown in ample supply, meaning that they become more affordable.
So when everything is ready to be harvested at their peak, nutritional value is at an all-time high – with everything being much cheaper, and tasting much better, too!
If you’d like to know what to eat and when, you can have a read through ‘Eat the Seasons’, which is a great resource, here.
Why is it better to eat more local, seasonal food?
When we eat both local and seasonal food, we create a demand for these products, encouraging farmers to grow a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.
By supporting local farmers, we contribute to the preservation of rural landscapes and help maintain the cultural heritage associated with traditional farming, while reducing the need for long-distance transportation, which also means lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Why is seasonal food good for the planet?
Opting for seasonal produce helps promote a more sustainable food system. When we choose foods that are in season, we minimise the demand for energy-intensive methods of food production, like heated greenhouses or long-haul transportation, which can ultimately help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
How can the Workplace Wellbeing Charter help?
The Workplace Wellbeing Charter provides a national accreditation for organisations who are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce. The charter is built on a solid framework which ensures you have every angle of workplace wellbeing covered, like mental wellbeing and work-life balance, additionally providing guidelines on how to improve each angle.
With the charter also covering physical health, it can be a great tool to reference if you’d like to encourage seasonal eating to your team – and following their nationally accredited guidelines could be a great way to show your team that you care, too.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- If your company has a canteen or will need catering for an event, it’s a good idea to include seasonal and local produce which could help your colleagues, all while supporting local farmers, the economy and the planet, too.
- If you’d like to encourage a more hands-on approach to seasonal eating, why not take a cooking or baking class using seasonal ingredients for your next social?
- Or if you have an internal newsletter, a “Nutrition tip Tuesday” or “Specials of the season” section could help act as a great reminder to keep your colleagues’ diets fresh with seasonal recipes, and could even help them make informed decisions all-year-round.
Whether your employees prefer to nip to the store for their lunch break, or prefer to cook at home, you can encourage them to make better choices. With Asda for Business gift cards and corporate e-gift cards, you can give them access to a variety of high-quality, seasonal produce from British farmers so they can enjoy the benefits of a tasty, well-balanced diet—all while saving money, and helping the planet, too.