Eating Seasonally: Good for You, Good for the Environment
This Earth Month, we wanted to explore how eating local, seasonal ingredients can help us lower our carbon footprint, so we asked Little Kitchen Academy Co-Founder and Co-CEO Felicity Curin why their food philosophy focuses on seasonal ingredients and how they use their Living Food Wall powered by AeroGarden to add a little something extra to their dishes!
Why do you use seasonal ingredients at Little Kitchen Academy for your recipes?
At Little Kitchen Academy we love to talk about the wisest, oldest person in our world—Mother Nature! She is always thinking about our health and wellbeing. Mother Nature knows that we need lots of different nutrients at different times of the year and she makes sure they grow when we need them most. That’s why when you walk into a Little Kitchen Academy in December, you’ll see students chopping up some delicious fresh kale or grating some beautiful purple beets, while in July you might see them chopping up tasty fresh peaches or pitting locally sourced cherries!
Another reason for using seasonal ingredients is because produce always tastes best right after it has been harvested! We know that a child who may feel nervous to try a tomato will have a better experience if that tomato has been picked at the perfect time. We also like to remind our students (particularly our teens who are getting ready to head out into the world on their own) that the most reasonably priced food is local, seasonal produce.
How does eating locally and seasonally benefit us?
Our students are such wonderful humans, and their reasons for what they choose to eat are as varied as they are! Eating locally and seasonally connects with many of our students who are very conscious of their environmental impact; food that is grown locally won’t have to travel as far to get to us. Some students really want to support local farmers and producers and they like knowing that choosing locally grown produce helps give jobs to their neighbors. Understanding that Mother Nature is always thinking of us, many students like knowing that what is growing in our communities today contains the nutrients and minerals our bodies need right now. And freshly picked produce always tastes the BEST!
There is also something special about cooking with seasonal produce. I’m not sure that the fall season would feel like fall if we didn’t cook with yummy sugar pumpkins.
Eating seasonally presents an interesting learning opportunity for both you and your child. Together you can take some time to understand what some of the foods are that you can find in season locally and exploring new recipes that use those foods! Most of us probably don’t know when arugula or eggplants or basil are actually in season—because they are always available to us at the grocery store! By taking the time to learn about what grows when in our area, you and your child can share the joy of learning something new together.
How do you use your Living Food Wall powered by AeroGarden to enhance your seasonal recipes?
Our students absolutely LOVE our Living Food Wall! It’s such a wonderful learning opportunity for our students to see food literally growing in front of their eyes. Not many of us, especially those of us who live in big cities, are able to watch our food grow anymore. Our AeroGardens also give us the ability to grow certain foods that might not be in season but can still be available to us fresh with minimal environmental impact. They are perfect for growing lovely fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter or having fresh herbs like basil and dill available to use year-round!
Little Kitchen Academy, the key ingredient for an independent child, is a Montessori-inspired cooking academy for kids ages three through teen focused on providing a safe, inspiring, and empowering space for children to identify, develop, and refine their senses. Little Kitchen Academy has locations open in both Canada and the US, with more opening soon! Find a Little Kitchen Academy near you.