Clueless Brits Baffled by Which Foods are in Season
Brits are clueless when it comes to knowing what foods are in season, according to new research.
Most people struggle to identify the correct seasons to buy produce such as tomatoes, cress, runner beans, swede and carrots.
One in ten believe ALL fruit and veg are available all through the year and a third didn’t realise there were certain months produce would taste better.
The study of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Innocent Drinks, after partnering with not-for-profit organisation Grow-It-Yourself to launch this year’s Sow & Grow campaign, which has reached a quarter of UK primary schools, and gets children engaged in healthy eating.
Sim Viney, Brand Manager for Innocent Drinks, said: “At the moment nine out of ten young people are not getting their 5-a-day, so we’ve been running a campaign called Sow & Grow, which has got a quarter of all primary school kids growing veg in their classrooms, and learning where their food comes from.
“We know that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruit and veg, and that kids who develop healthy habits at a young age are more likely to become healthy adults.”
One in ten adults think apples are exactly the same regardless of which season it is, while a fifth think runners beans are best in spring, and 42 per cent think blackcurrants are nicest in autumn.
A further 15 per cent think cress can be grown any season, while 12 per cent happily pay for garlic in the spring or winter despite it having travelled long distances to get to the supermarket.
More than a third of people wouldn’t think twice about buying the typically wintery vegetable turnip in summer.
And similarly swede, also at its best in winter, is considered a summer vegetable by 38 per cent.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, three quarters of those polled admitted to finding it hard to teach their children about the seasonality of food.
And seven in 10 adults think schools should do more to teach children about the seasons, while 77 per cent say children need to get outside and grow their own to improve their knowledge.
Sim Viney added: “We’re hoping the campaign itself will grow in future years – our ultimate goal is to get every primary school child in the country to experience growing their own veg.”
Educating children by encouraging them to grow their own vegetables is important, with the research showing that almost two thirds of people see no need to change their fruit and veg buying habits according to what season it is.
Interestingly, the same percentage agree fresh produce does taste better at different points in the year.
The research found 53 per cent of baffled Brits think the best time of year to buy clementines is in the height of summer – rather than winter.
And despite plums being a summer fruit, 45 per cent of people think they’re in season in autumn and a further 15 per cent spring.
Sweet potato – delicious in during the second half of the year – is thought to be in season during the summer by almost half of those polled.
While ‘spring greens’ are thought to be a summer vegetable by 47 per cent of people despite the clue being in the name.
And cabbage – which is actually in season all year round – is considered to be an autumn vegetable by 54 per cent of people.
A further 38 per cent think tomatoes are perfect in autumn, while 11 per cent think nothing to buying them in winter.
Three in 10 people polled have knowingly asked for fruit or vegetables which are out of season while shopping at the supermarket, and one in 20 were left red-faced after a shop assistant laughed at them for requesting something which wasn’t available.
And almost two thirds of people see no need to change their fruit and veg buying habits according to what season it is.
Although the same percentage agree fresh produce does taste better at different points in the year.
A quarter of those questioned have never tried to shop for something that is in season, and 23 per cent place no importance on seasonal shopping.
For 59 per cent of people cost is the most influential factor when it comes to buying fruit and vegetables, with many opting for what is most affordable – while 16 per cent will consider seasonality.
Michael Kelly, founder of not-for-profit organisation Grow-It-Yourself and partners in the campaign said: “It’s a fact that food growers have a better understanding of nutrition and eat more fruit and veg.
“Over the years we have repeatedly seen how even the simplest food-growing experience can make children passionate about what they eat, and help them develop a greater understanding and ‘food empathy’.
“Innocent and GIY have launched Sow & Grow, a campaign encouraging school kids across the UK to get outside, stick their hands in some mud and learn about the benefits of healthy eating.
“We want everyone to have those all-important memories of growing their own. This year’s campaign is bigger and broader than ever – 250,000 children will take part in over 8,000 schools in the UK and Ireland.”