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The Scottish Government is aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and 90% by 2040. Agriculture and food production are directly responsible for around 20% of global carbon emissions. SEFARI scientists are investigating novel crops that have the potential to be grown in Scotland, are a source of nutrients and may be more environmentally sustainable.

Crops that have been studied include green pea, fava bean, hemp, and buckwheat. Research has demonstrated that these crops are a rich source of protein and fibre and could help a move towards a more sustainable diet. 
Raising awareness of the health benefits as well as the economic and environmentally sustainable advantages of these crops is important. A recipe book “A Taste of Plants” was developed to encourage replacement of animal protein with plant protein from these novel crops. A video was also created, highlighting SEFARI research into how the Scottish population could be fed in a sustainable way. 

Some of the recipes from the recipe book were used as the basis for a lunch which showcased the use of these crops to key stakeholders. The event was attended by local community enterprises, farmers, representatives from the food industry and non-governmental organisations, and a local politician. Feedback from the lunch demonstrated that participants left inspired, better informed, and enjoyed the innovative plant-based menu. 

Would you like to read more? Our full blog was originally post here

This research was conducted by Dr Madalina Neacsu and Professor Wendy Russell

Research funded by the Scottish Government as part of the Strategic Research Programme