“Made with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients” is music to the ears of any foodie. One mention will stir wholesome thoughts of a wicker basket full of hearty veg – fresh from the farm. Oh, the charm!
The UK is rapidly becoming a nation of mindful eaters. No wonder seasonal and locally sourced ingredients are being recognised as the right way to eat, combining quality and sustainability into one neat package. All this makes serving seasonal workplace meals an easy win for companies trying to adopt a more ethical approach.
Fruits, grains and vegetables grow to the cycles of seasons and contain nutrient profiles appropriate to the season. Ingredients harvested as per their natural cycle are at their optimal quality and taste and nutrition and require less intensive farming practices. By being sourced closer to home – there’s less chance of spoilage or accumulation of food miles making local and seasonal produce by far the most sustainable choice.
Now let’s take a closer look at why workspaces, in particular, can benefit from embracing seasonal eating:
One-upping employee expectations
With the rise of working-from-home, cooking-from-home has intensified. In the words of Anna Lawson, food writer at the BBC, “We’re not just cooking more at the moment; we’re turning into chefs!”.
Now more than ever, employees understand the importance of top-notch, sustainably sourced ingredients. Gone are the days when employees wouldn’t give a fig about eating summer fruits in December, flown in from a farm far away. Instead, workplaces should move with the times and give their employees what they want: meals made with local ingredients, grown to the season.
Feeling good at work
Seasonal produce served in the workplace will improve employees’ wellness, putting them in the right frame of mind. Not only does it put them in harmony with the unique character of each passing season, but seasonal produce has the knack of providing the nutrition your employees need to the time of year. Let us explain:
- Creates seasonal vibes
Being in the office can start to feel like the same experience all year round. Everything stays consistent for preserving optimum working conditions: from temperature control to bright lighting. Seasonal food can provide the corresponding sensory experiences to put your employees in sync with nature’s cycles. Summer foods are lighter and have a cooling quality – whilst winter foods are hearty and filling, making going into the office an altogether more wholesome experience.
- Giving the proper nutrition (at the right time)
The nutrients people need to thrive and feel well change with the seasons. So whether it’s beating the blues in January or feeling fresh in July, seasonal ingredients can boost our wellbeing. Take Kale, for example, which can be eaten in-season throughout the winter whilst providing antidepressant nutrients that assist in overcoming S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder).
Seasonal produce follows natural rhythms and therefore ripens to its full potential. Whilst, on the other hand, out-of-season food is all looks and no (or not much) nutritional substance. Suppliers go to great lengths to make out-of-season fruit and veg look tasty but at the expense of considerably depleted nutrients.
Ever noticed how raspberries taste so much sweeter in summer yet also tend to be on sale? With seasonal food, you get bang for your buck. Buying ingredients at their seasonal best is also when they’re at their most bountiful. James Ramsden, food writer at the Guardian, explains,
“The law of supply and demand dictates that June’s glut of strawberries makes for a cheaper product than you’ll find out of season”
Yet, there’s an awful amount of work that goes into bringing you ‘fresh’ produce in the off-season. Raspberries in winter will be flown in from South America or grown in the UK with carbon-intensive methods. All this added effort in supplying out-of-season ingredients hikes the price. Considering you’ll be paying more to feed your employees with second-rate ingredients, this makes no sense.
It’s a wrap!
We know that managing employees in the workplace is no easy task, especially with fluctuating office headcounts from hybrid working. However, going the extra mile to serve a seasonal menu is well worth the effort. Not only do your employees eat and feel better, but seasonal eating also supports their healthy lifestyles. And last but not least, it’s the responsible approach expected of the business community with the looming threat of climate crisis.
Fooditude: taking workplace meals to the next level
Check out how we can support you with excellent seasonal food – whether it’s daily catering or a special occasion in the office. At Fooditude, we take a sustainable approach to catering – discover more >