Official research for the Scottish government has found that 36% of Scots have no idea what food is in season and when.
In order to educate the ignorant hoi polloi shops, chefs, restaurant owners and householders are all being urged to embrace seasonal fruit and vegetables as part of a new campaign dubbed 'Eat in Season'.
Richard Lochhead, the rural affairs minister said in-season food was often cheaper and tastier. I would agree but only because there is a greengrocer in town. Supermarkets can claim their fruit and vegetables are fresh but how do they define fresh? I've been doing a wee experiment of my own over the past few months. In the salad drawers of my fridge I
Because my home grown apples rotted much quicker than the shop bought ones doesn't prove that they weren't as fresh as commercially grown fruit, but it does prove that commercially grown fruit is treated in some way to delay rot. In the past I've usually relied upon the appearance of food to convey it's freshness but no longer.
More seriously, why are so many people unaware of seasonal produce? Surely our schools should be teaching children the food and nutrition basics or are they too pre-occupied with sex, alcohol and other social issues? It would be easy to encourage children to visit this site and they would find out within minutes.
However, I do have some sympathy with those who do their best to education Scots in fresh, seasonal food because most of us now buy at supermarkets - many have no choice. Also in winter the lure of a fish supper or a take-away curry can be too much.
I would like to think Mr Lochhead's project did make us aware of our 'seasonal larder' but I have my doubts.
Edward sent me this little tale. Has much changed?
It must be over 35 years ago because it was just before we married. I
was up in Glasgow and my soon-to-be wife sent me out for some shopping, including green beans.
The nearest shop was a substantial Co-op. Looking at the
rather tattered, tired selection of veg, I asked an assistant,
"Do you have any green beans?"
"Do you mean Heinz* Beans, son?" (Pronounced Heenz)
"No, green ones, fresh ones"
"This is Knightswood no' Hollywood".