Giving all our producers in Luxembourg proper recognition is especially close to my heart because these men and women do remarkable work – and they deserve to be respected and supported because their work is of benefit to us all!
The society in which we live drives people to consume more – and in a way that’s disorganized and unfair. We have to change the way we buy goods because this marketing system often leaves local producers out of the picture. Whenever we buy a product, we see the product but often we don’t think about the producer who made it happen… So let’s put these producers in the spotlight, especially during this spring period when everything is starting to emerge from the ground or appear on fruit trees.
There are many advantages in buying local produce. Whether you’re a private individual, a caterer or something else – always try and buy locally!
By purchasing local produce, we’re automatically supporting the local economy and therefore that of our local producers who toil in the fields all year long to provide us with excellent-quality fruit, vegetables and meat. And the benefits are certainly not just restricted to financial support, as this also enables local know-how and traditional cultivation of the land to carry on.
Following my recent visits to Cactus partner-producers, I can assure you that the way I now view a “simple” product has completely changed. More than ever, I’m aware of just how much the work of our producers should be honoured, and all of them: farmers, market gardeners, etc. Their farms are still human-sized, chemicals are rarely used and actually often not at all – which is fantastically good for nature and for everyone’s health. Consuming local produce reduces the distances which foodstuffs have to be transported which means that food can be harvested when it’s perfectly ripe so that the produce is as fresh and tasty as possible with maximum vitamin content.
Short supply channels therefore have a positive impact on the flavour of products and the nutrients they provide. What’s more, food is prevented from spoiling while in transit in the supply chain. So opting for local produce is also a way of taking concrete action against food waste.
This month’s product
When strawberries are in season, everyone is crazy about them! To enjoy this fruit when it’s really ripe, the ideal months are May and June. However, since there are many different varieties of strawberries, some ripen earlier than others. Generally, strawberries do not grow between October and March. What’s always most important is being able to select the best ones. As with all fruit, making the right choice can be difficult. It’s such a let-down when you get home from the shops and bite excitedly into a strawberry only to find it isn’t ripe or has no flavour! So to avoid being disappointed, follow this advice – ripe strawberries are shiny and a lovely red colour and they’ll smell good!
Strawberries are packed with goodness
With strawberries everything can be eaten and nothing need be wasted: the fruit, the leaves and even the roots. Strawberries can also be used for skincare products (creams for wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness, exfoliating cream, etc.)
Fresh strawberries are low in calories, high in fibre and vitamin C and in antioxidants from their flavonoids (these give strawberries their lovely red colour).
If we want to enjoy their goodness and flavour to the full, we should only eat strawberries when they’re in season.
Recipe of the month
My nutritional advice
Spinach is a leafy vegetable that comes from the same family as beetroot. Although it’s well-known for containing lots of iron, spinach also is high in provitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin K, vitamin C and is a great source of antioxidants.
And at 23 calories per 100 grammes, it’s definitely one of the lowest calorie vegetables.
Although most of the energy spinach provides comes from carbs, for a fresh vegetable it also contains a relatively high amount of protein.
High in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals, this springtime vegetable can help prevent disease, in particular lung, stomach and kidney cancers. Celeriac has a subtle, rather pleasant hazelnut flavour and can be eaten both cooked and uncooked.
My wild pickings
If you rub hedge woundwort between your fingers, the smell you get isn’t very pleasant. However, it’s important not to just go by surface appearances! If you carry on rubbing it, this plant will reveal its true essence, similar to the typical smell of mushrooms. But which part of this plant should you eat? Well, preferably the leaves and young shoots, but please don’t discard its flowers, they can be made into fritters for example, and offer some wonderful possibilities for cooking.