For those in lockdown now is a good time to embrace local and seasonal food and improve health.
An article in the Daily Telegraph on 27th April highlights the urgency of tackling an overweight UK.
“Time for an honest conversation about weight?”
“Ultra-processed food sets you up for inflammation that Covid-19 will exploit”
A healthy balanced diet is even more important right now and it seems that many in forced lockdown are embracing this and are enjoying a “slower life”. Many farm shops, farmers markets and artisan food producers are managing to keep producing good healthy sustainable foods for delivery or collection. Many people have discovered these benefits by chance having been denied a supermarket delivery slot because of massively increased demand and, having been forced to cast the net wider for their food, have found that this cloud has provided the welcome silver lining of a new regime. Some households are enjoying the challenge of all meals taken at home and are embracing and treasuring their food, finding new tastes, cookery skills and techniques.
The biggest challenge is to seek out your sources and suppliers or, if you have the space and willpower, to grow at least some of your own food. It also has to be accepted that most of these vegetables come with dirt, so a little more preparation might be required but it should be worth the effort. There are lots of farm shops and artisan foods available from small suppliers online, and some may be found local to home.
Eating locally and seasonally is, perhaps surprisingly, easy to do. It is possible to eat almost all your fresh fruit and vegetables from excellent UK sources all year round. This is high quality food which will taste very good and stay fresher for considerably longer than pre-packed equivalents. Seasonality provides a natural variety in diet and increases the enjoyment of foods when they are at their very best. Jersey Royals, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus and samphire are just some examples which have short seasons but taste all the better for the wait. Lots of fruits, vegetables and herbs can be preserved in some way, including freezing or for example by making into pesto, jams, pickles or chutneys.
A diet high in vegetables (especially greens) is a good starting point to better health. Add in sustainable fish (especially oily fish), meat, including poultry and game, artisan cheese, good butter, milk, yoghurt and eggs – all from animals (as *Michael Pollan says) “that have themselves eaten well.” On top of that get good artisan breads (especially sourdough) and you have the makings of a balanced diet rich in delicious foods to treasure, treat with respect and keep you healthy – you are unlikely to waste a thing and, perhaps surprisingly, with good planning can save money. You can save time too as many of these foods need little embellishment – it is better not to mess around with them as less is definitely more.
“Diet is hugely important and Sherbhert champions healthy and sustainable food that does not harm the environment, exploit producers, or cause unnecessary animal suffering, it also needs to taste good, be in season and generally sourced as locally as possible.”
*If you are confused about food and what to eat or not eat, do read Food Rules by Michael Pollan. This easy to follow book of simple food rules makes so much sense and is a short read.
Other relevant Sherbhert articles