Why eat sustainable food?

Cash Poor Brits are saving hundreds of pounds a year by growing green and munching on home-produced fruit and veg.

As many as a third of all households could be raising their own crops in the next few years, according to new research from DIY chain B&Q.

Their survey showed that most will save at least �200, some up to �1,000, just by growing their own.

The Reynolds family are among millions adopting the Good Life - just like Tom and Barbara in the 1970s sitcom.

Families who want to cut gas and electricity bills but can't afford technology like solar panels and insulation have been offered a helping hand.

The Environment Minister, has unveiled plans for "green loans" - which mean home-owners can borrow up to �10,000 to make their homes warmer and cheaper to run now, and pay it back from the savings on bills in the future.

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To show how easy it is, we've totted up the Reynolds' savings - comparing what it costs them to grow each item with what it costs to buy in the supermarket. There's huge differences, with carrots a tenth of the price, lettuces just a penny each and sweetcorn, tubs of strawberries and courgettes just a few pence.

Over the year, a family like them will save �500 a year and also do their bit for the environment. "For several months we are self sufficient in vegetables," said mum of two Lucy Smith.

They are quids in during the summer when the veg are in season and what they don't eat then is frozen to enjoy in the winter months.

Martin Hames of B&Q said: "Even more people will get gardening this summer. There is nothing quite like enjoying food that you have grown yourself. "Whether it's a garden, an allotment, a city centre balcony or even a windowsill, this is something everyone can do."

And new laws are being drawn up to make sure that when families move house they leave any outstanding debt behind. The new owners who benefit from the improvements will take on the loan when they move in.

The plan announced today is a critical part of the Government's proposed "green makeover" for the UK. At the moment, the UK's housing stock accounts for a quarter of our greenhouse emissions.

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Organic food is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy agricultural sector which does not damage the earth and limit its nutrients. There are many great reasons to buy organic:

1. It's healthy

Averagely, organic food has higher levels of Vitamin C and important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-battling antioxidants.

2. No nasty additives

Organic food doesn’t have food additives which can bring about health problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity. Amongst the additives forbidden by the Soil Association are hydrogenated fat, aspartame (artificial sweetener) and MSG.

3. Avoids pesticides

Over 400 chemical pesticides are frequently utilised in conventional agriculture and residues are often present in non-organic food.

4. GM-free

Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are forbidden under organic standards.

5. Reliance on drugs removed

There is an increased concern about the high use of antibiotics on animals and the potential effects on human health. Soil Association standards forbid the routine use of antibiotics.

6. No hidden costs

Tax payers pay £120 million for chemicals to be taken out of drinking water, mainly as a result of the pesticides used in agriculture.

7. High standards

Organic food comes from trusted sources. All organic farms and food companies are examined at least once a year. The standards for organic food are established in European law.

8. Care for animals

Animal welfare is taken seriously under organic standards. The advantages of the organic approach are understood by animal welfare organisations such as Compassion in World Farming as well as the UK government.