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Local food 'high' on festive menu

22 December 09 13:49 GMT

More than half of Scots will be eating local produce this Christmas, according to a survey commissioned by the Scottish government.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead predicted 60% of people across Scotland would have locally-grown, or produced, food or drink.

In the Highlands and Islands, the figure could be as high as 75%.

However, the just 17% of those questioned said eating more healthily would be their new year resolution.

The Progressive Scottish Opinion survey contacted 1,008 people for the research during the first week of December.

'Radical rethink'

Mr Lochhead said: "We can all help celebrate Scottish food and drink this Christmas.

"We are fortunate in Scotland to have some of the best quality butchers, grocers, supermarkets and delicatessens stocking fresh, locally-sourced food."

NFU Scotland's chief executive, James Withers, said farmers were playing a growing part in Scotland's food and drink industry.

Eating local produce has been promoted as being environmentally-friendly as well as a boost to the economy.

Over the summer, two sea kayakers stuck to a local produce-only diet on an expedition to promote sustainable living while they circumnavigated the Isle of Skye.

Locally-grown fruit

Former University of Edinburgh students Tom Pendrey and Sam Bonfield attempted to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum during the trip.

Their "Skye diet" included blueberries, potatoes, fudge and sausages either grown or produced on the island.

The Fife Diet is among the best known "carbon-neutral" uses of food.

Launched in 2007, it aimed to reduce the food coming into the country by air.

It is low in meat, to lower the amount of harmful gases produced by cattle, and involves eating only locally-grown fruit and vegetables.

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