Government to back grow your own scheme

The UK government is urging Brits to consume more home-grown fruit and vegetables with a view to improving the nations health.

While garden and greenhouse enthusiasts may already realise the benefits of eating such foodstuffs, ministers are worried that many people do not get enough antioxidant-rich food from their diet.

To encourage more people to grow their own, environment secretary Hilary Benn has set up a task force charged with boosting fruit and vegetable consumption in England.

It will also focus on cutting the amount of produce consumed from overseas, with Mr Benn revealing that the UK produces 11 per cent of the fruit and 58 per cent of vegetables eaten in Britain.

According to health secretary Andy Burnham, fresh produce is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"The latest Health Survey for England results showed an increase in the number of people eating fruit and veg and our five-a-day campaign is supporting families to get even more fruit and veg in their diets," he added.

Meanwhile, research from the University of Florida has shown that a regular helping of leafy green vegetables can help people stay in shape and avoid heart disease.