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Sargent urges public to eat more leafy vegetables which are now in season

Mr Trevor Sargent TD, Minister for Food and Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, recently visited Lusk, Co Dublin, farmer Mr Denis Harford, who is currently harvesting broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, (all members of the brassica family), which are now in season.

In making the case as to why people should be eating more brassicas at this time, Minister Sargent said: "Humans have evolved to depend on leafy vegetables to maintain good health. Of all the changes to our food system that go under the heading, 'The Western Diet', the shift from a food chain with green plants at its base to one based largely on seeds, (e.g. wheat, rice, maize, soya) may be the most far reaching of all. The shift from leaves to seeds affects much more than the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 in the body. This shift also helps account for the large amount of refined carbohydrates in the Western diet, the lack of so many micronutrients and the surfeit of total calories."

In conclusion, Minister Sargent said: "With so much Irish grown good value fresh broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower available, now is the time to redress the imbalance in many of our diets by serving up the freshest of Irish broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower this summer."

Date Released: 23 July 2008