What Fruit & Vegetables Are In Season In Ireland? The EUFIC Have Launched An Online Guide
Brussels, 23 March - The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) launched Europe’s very first interactive fruit and vegetables seasonality map today. It provides accurate and reliable information that helps navigate in an easy way towards healthier and more sustainable choices. Many consumers are eager to improve their diets but lack the right information, continuing to eat too few of these dietary essentials. EUFIC’s innovative tool helps them reconnect to local produce, discover unusual fruits and vegetables, and get inspiration to try recipes with sustainable alternatives.
The map combines data from established national sources and features over 200 seasonal fruits and vegetables, covers 24 countries, and includes the six European climate regions. Users can filter per country, season, and month, identifying sustainable food options. With its simple interface and large variety of foods included, EUFIC’s map aims to raise awareness on the nutrition and health benefits of fruits and vegetables consumption. Initially launched in English, it will be available also in French, German, Italian and Spanish.
‘In Europe we are used to have a very large selection of foods at our disposal all along the year, often detaching us from the origins of the produce. We are proud to launch this innovative map, helping people have a diversified, balanced, healthy and sustainable diet’’ said Laura Fernández Celemín, EUFIC’s Director General.
Improving lifestyles with local and seasonal food
Fruit and vegetables are dietary essentials across cultures, and a minimum amount 400g per day or five portions of fruits and vegetables is beneficial for health. Eating more seasonal and local fruit and vegetable benefits not only our health but also the environment.
Local fruit and vegetables are fresher and more nutritious, considering that most of its vitamins and minerals are normally lost within 24 hours after being picked. Moreover, local food drastically reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to the supply chain. Seasonality also plays an important role in reducing emissions. Eating a local tomato for example is not the best choice if it had to grow during winter in energy-heavy greenhouses. The lowest GHG emissions are associated to local fruits & vegetables growing outside during their natural season.
Locally produced and in season fruit and vegetables are just one aspect of eating more sustainably. Reducing animal-based foods such as beef and dairy and minimising food waste are equally as important. In general, fruit and vegetables have lower GHG emissions compared to animal products such as beef and dairy, in fact as much as 10-50 times lower.
Consumers on the lookout for sustainable options
A recent survey conducted by the European Consumers Organization (BEUC) found that two-thirds of consumers are open to changing their eating habits for environmental reasons, with many willing to waste less food at home, buy more seasonal fruit and vegetables and eat more plant-based foods. Yet, two main obstacles people face are the lack of information and the difficulty of identifying sustainable food options.
In 2021, the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables proclaimed by the United Nations, more awareness raising activities on fruit and vegetables are taking place globally to help increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
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