Scots urged to eat food in season

Scots are being urged to eat food in season to help improve their health and support the local economy.

According to the Scottish government most people no longer know which foods are in season, having become accustomed to all food being available all year.

Its new Eat in Season campaign aims to encourage shops, chefs and households to use locally-grown food.

Rural Affairs minister Richard Lochhead said that in-season food was often cheaper and tastier.

He launched the campaign in Edinburgh, with the help of two chefs who performed a cooking demonstration.

Leeks, parsnips, broccoli, kale and early rhubarb are some of the fruit and vegetables ready to eat in Scotland this month.

Mr Lochhead said: "Eating food that's in season means enjoying food at its peak in terms of flavour.

"It can also make a difference to the weekly shopping bill, as more abundant, in season food is often cheaper.

"I'm sure that as Scots become more aware of what's in season they will see how easy it is to incorporate tasty and seasonal produce into their everyday lives."

However, the Liberal Democrats' deputy environment spokesman, MSP Jim Hume, said the government could do more to promote local food and support Scotland's farmers and food producers.

"They could be directing public agencies to support local producers in procurement processes," he said.

"Local councils, health boards and the prison service should set a good example by buying food from local suppliers."

He said some Scottish councils spent as little as 3.5% of their food budget on local products last year, although others bought almost all their food locally.

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