Friday, April 9, 2010

Reason for a Season

As the world is getting smaller,I wonder how many Singaporeans take it for granted that they can buy any fruit or vegetable from every corner of the world in the local supermarket, navel oranges from California, persimmons from Israel or China and greenhouse cultivated strawberries all year round. Alas, until they come to live or study in places where chillies or other tropical fruits and vegetables will cost them a fortune when they can find them in winter. Furthermore, there is a heavy environmental price to pay. Demanding fruit and vegetables out of season means the farmers use more energy to produce them, and most importantly, more food miles; transporting, and storing, food all costs money and uses energy. Our inflexibility and increasing demand for out-of-season products reinforces the need for long distance transportation.
So, what message am I trying to get across? Simply that in order to experience any fruit or vegetables you buy or grow at their best, you should buy them when they’re local and in season and they are considerably cheaper. Most important of all, eating seasonally actually increases the variety of food items we consume as we are forced to look at what else might be available. There’s a lot of truth attached to eating foods only at certain times of the year. Winter is all about warming flavours and heavier food, we make sure that crock-pot is the most frequently used cooking utensil in the kitchen,to provide us with stews and soup like bak kut teh, but it’s navel oranges which are in season during winter that brings us the summery, zesty flavours that brighten our days in the cold and dark season. After all, there is a reason for a season.


  1. It is nice to recieve comments from readers of my blog, but I find it difficult to retrieve and answer them as it often disappears into the older postings of mine. I have just recieved this comment from Pam Kaur " Thank you! I have been looking for this recipe (si... Thank you! I have been looking for this recipe (singaporean version) for a while now! Glad I found this website. But I could not find where it has gone after I publish it. It helps if it has a reference to the recipe. Anyway, Thank you, Pam for your visit and please share and post your cooking result to my latest post.

  2. i heard from Matilda that ginger is very expensive, strangely they are quite cheap here. i just bought a huge bag of about 2 lbs for only $1.00.

  3. Hi Lilyng,
    Yes it is hard to believe but it is true.
    US$25.00 per kilo for the "old" ginger and US$ 8.00 for the young ginger were what I paid 2 weeks ago. The reason given was the recent flood in Queensland and Northern NSW had destroyed the ginger crop.
    We have planted some ginger plant along with the galangal and tumeric in our backyard but they take two years to mature!

  4. Dear Uncle Phil,

    You blogs are a regular source of inspiration. Thank you.

    Regarding this latest post, I agree and here's a link I use to keep me updated on seasonality.

    I wish there was one for seafoods (fish, type of oysters, when stingrays, kingfish are in season etc etc)

  5. Uncle Phil, I find it heart-warming reading your blog as you share your insight and experiences.

    I agree with eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to get a well-balanced diet. And I'm blessed that my children eats almost any fruits offered to them. I am still counting my blessings.

  6. Rgdg the missing comments, a few bloggers experienced the same problem including myself. Let's hope Blogger gets it resolved soon.

  7. Hi Peter T,
    Thanks for your visit. The pleasure is mine,to know there are people out there sharing the same line of thoughts. It is an impossible task for land scare Singapore if it has to rely on its own food production, instead of imports from other countries. Surely, there is no reason for us not to be concerned that a growing global food supply have been tempered by the serious enviromenttal damage that new production techniques have caused. Thanks again for your encouragement.

    Cheers, Phil

  8. Hi Blessed Homemaker,
    Not only you are a blessed homemaker, We think you are a blessed mum too. We cannot agree with you more that children should be shown and offred to eat the right food from young.