Late summer and the start of autumn is a traditional time to celebrate food. Harvest festival is all about reaping in the benefits and abundance of seasonal food. This is reflected in the many food festivities that are taking place up and down the country. Read more about how you can celebrate and get involved in the forthcoming events.
Organic Food Month September
The Soil Association is promoting all things organic during the month of September and during that time the Organic Food Festival takes place at Bristol harbour side 3rd to 4th September 2011. This festival will have 130 organic food and drink producers, plus celebrity chefs, live bands and livestock. It is organised by Real Food Festival Ltd www.realfoodfestival.co.uk and both organisations believe in the benefits of bringing people together who grow, cook and eat organic food.
What is organic food?
Organic food is food produced free from, chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers and thus promotes healthy soil.
Why eat organic food?
There are many reasons why eating organic food is beneficial.
• More protection for your family health as food is free from chemicals etc.
• Healthy food is produced in an environmentally friendly way so soil erosion is avoided.
• Organic food tastes better from healthy soil and has 50% more vitamins and minerals vital for good health.
• Water and air quality is protected in a chemical free environment making a healthy working environment.
• Small businesses and farmers are supported.
• Biodiversity is promoted
• Buying from local food producers reduces your carbon footprint.
How can you get involved?
The ethos of providing local seasonal food on your menu is a popular one. The world menu report (published by the Publican Feb 2011) stated that 73% of consumers want to know more about what is in their food while eating out, and they already let the nutritional information influence where they eat out. 61% said they preferred to eat in places that are transparent about the ingredients they use.
If you don’t want to offer organic food, you can still celebrate and get involved in offering local seasonal British food. 17th September to 2nd October is British Food Fortnight. Visit www.wanttobuybritish.co.uk or www.lovebritishfood.co.uk for more information.
Autumn seasonal food
Do you need some inspiration for your menu? Here is a list of what is in season:
Chicken, grouse, ham, heather fed lamb, pies, pork roasts, sausage and venison.
Field mushrooms, lettuce, marrow, potatoes, pumpkin, rocket, squash, sweetcorn and watercress.
Apples, blackberries, damsons, elderberries, pears, plums and sloes.
Brill, dab, Dover sole, flounder, oysters and skate.
Get your outlet accredited
If you are serious about organic produce, there is more to it than just food. You can offer organic beer, lager, wine, soft drinks, teas and coffees. If you want to get your outlet accredited as an organic establishment you can be accredited by the Soil Association, which offer you news updates, support and training in all areas of organic products. Visit www.soilassociation.org for more information.
Still need more inspiration to celebrate food? Here is a list of forthcoming Food events.
3rd to 18th Scottish Food Fortnight
3rd to 4th Organic Food Festival (Organic Food month September)
12th to 18th National Cupcake Week
17th to 2nd October British Food Fortnight
24th to 2nd October Great British Food Week
30th Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
1st to 7th National Chocolate Week