Is locally-grown food better for us?

Is locally-grown food better for us?

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health are investigating if there are nutritional benefits to eating locally grown foods, but need help from members of the public to do so.

Professor John Beattie is leading a team looking for volunteers to help them compare the difference in the nutritional values between people who consume locally grown foods and those who consume globally grown products. The study is funded by the Scottish Government.

In order to carry out the research, which will help to inform the Scottish Government’s food policy, researchers are hoping to recruit volunteers between the ages of 18 and 65 to help them. Male and female participants are both sought for this project however those who take part should be non-smokers, and should not be taking long term medications and nutritional supplements

Volunteers who are interested in taking part will be asked to complete a pre-screening questionnaire, which will allow the team to determine whether the volunteers should be in the locally sourced food group or in the group which sources food from around the globe.

The Study manager, Dr Joanna Kaniewska, from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health said: “This study is important as it will allow us to examine whether there are benefits of consuming locally versus globally sourced foods. We will look at the vitamins and minerals levels and determine if the origin of our foods has an impact on our health. The study is not very demanding for the participants but it will help us to answer very important questions.”  

After the initial pre-screening, the volunteers will be asked to give more details about their eating habits. Scientists will analyse the results of the questionnaire and then select participants who have similar characteristics but consume either locally- or globally-sourced produce. These volunteers will be then asked to keep a food diary for one week, followed by one, small blood sample which will allow the scientists to assess differences in the status of vitamins and minerals.  

If anyone would like be a volunteer for the study or would like more information about the project, please contact Dr Joanna Kaniewska on 01224 438644 or email