Research undertaken as part of the 2011-2016 Strategic Research Programme, not to be confused with the Rural and Environment Strategy reported on earlier focuses just on food and animal health to create new crop varieties, fight the spread of animal and crop diseases and help the rural economy cope with climate change.
Examples of new crops are potatoes, raspberries and blackcurrants which are better able to fight diseases and, presumably, cope with the milder, wetter, weather patterns we’re increasingly experiencing.
Dr Viren Ranawana, Scientist at the Rowett Institute said:
‘Diet-related chronic diseases are increasing in the UK despite government dietary guidelines, and one reason for this is that most of us are often unable to change our dietary habits. Reformulating foods we like to eat in order to make them healthier is an alternative approach to improving health. We have been exploring how some underexploited natural products, suited to production in a Scottish climate, can be used to produce healthier food options and one example are the berries, salal and honeyberry, which may be used to produce more nutritious yoghurts.’
The gov.scot news report doesn’t provide the basis for the benefits headlined so we must trust Dr Ranawana has a scientific basis for them.