Grow-your-own households eat more fruit and vegetables and waste less

The study followed household food-growers over the course of a year to assess their production, purchase, donation and waste of fruit and vegetables.

It found those who grow their own can produce more than half of the vegetables (51 per cent) and 20 per cent of the fruit they consume annually.

As well as providing sustainable access to fresh fruit and vegetables, the study also found household food growers ate 6.3 portions of their recommended 5-a-day, which is 70 per cent higher than the UK national average at only 3.7 portions. This finding suggests household food production could promote the adoption of a healthier diet.

Author of the study, Dr Zilla Gulyas, from the University of Sheffield’s School of Biosciences, said: “Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is associated with significantly decreased risks of developing health issues like obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, and could help prevent associated deaths and cut healthcare costs worldwide.

“Our new study highlights the role that growing fruit and vegetables at a household scale could play in increasing their consumption.”

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