By Tony Winterbottom – Business Director for Catering
You may not realise, but the UK is bursting with amazing local and fresh produce, with each season bringing a new choice of ingredients full of flavour. Eating local in-season foods means you get the best taste for the best value, not to mention the health and environmental benefits. As the great British Food Fortnight approaches why not take a moment to find out what Atalian Servest’s top four benefits to eating local, seasonal food are.
- It’s better for your health
Buying local ensures that food gets to your plate much quicker than produce that has been flown halfway around the world. This means the nutritional value of the food is much higher because it is consumed much closer to the time of harvest. When stored for a long time, the amount of antioxidants such as Vitamin C rapidly declines, meaning you aren’t getting the full health benefits.
What’s more, seasonal food supports what your body needs, for example, summer foods such as stone fruits help protect against sun damage as they are packed with carotenoids. Winter vegetables are perfect for warming healthy stews and soups, which is exactly what you need during the cold months of the year.
Atalian Servest source fresh ingredients to ensure you and your colleagues, visitors and guests are getting the most out of the health benefits of eating in season.
- The flavour can’t be beaten
It’s not just about health advantages, eating food that is in season ensures you get the best flavour. By choosing ingredients that are naturally in season, you will get fresher, sweeter and perfectly ripe produce that tastes better. This enhances the meals you prepare and ensures you don’t end up with spoilt, impaired produce that has been kept refrigerated for months whilst it is transported from country to country.
For the Atalian Servest chefs, the flavour is paramount to everything they prepare, from the fresh berries used in the breakfast yoghurt pots to the seasonal vegetables used in the range of lunch dishes.
- Ensures you get value for money
Using local seasonal food means you can provide a varied menu that matches the nations changing seasonal tastes, for a more reasonable price. When you buy in season, the food is at its peak in supply so it costs less for farmers and distribution companies to get it to your local supplier, which helps to reduce the cost. Local food also avoids any import taxes, helping to keep the cost lower when compared to its foreign counterpart.
Using local produce enables Atalian Servest to create vibrant, varied meal choices at the best possible price, ensuring that much needed mid-day meal is not just full of taste, but is affordable too.
- Reduces your carbon footprint
The impact on the environment is, for some, the number one reason to buy local. Using produce that is grown or reared in the UK on local farms reduces the number of ‘food miles’ and brings down the associated CO2 emissions. There is less transportation, refrigeration and fewer hot houses, all of which helps to reduce air pollution. Not only is it environmentally friendly, using seasonal produce supports regional farms and communities, helping to grow the local economy.
Atalian Servest is forging long-term relationships with suppliers including local producers, to ensure it can serve quality, sustainable food on a large scale.
What’s in season?
With so much produce now available all year round, it can be hard to keep track of what is in season. To help you with what’s in season this autumn, our chefs have chosen some of their favourite foods that they are sure to be using on their menus throughout the British Food Fortnight and beyond.
To discover more of the great reasons to buy British and more on seasonal and local produce, you can explore the British Food Fortnight website here.