9 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food – Is It Worth The Effort?
Many people love the convenience of simply running to the grocery store to buy . The whatever food they need. Convenience is attractive, but it cannot compare to growing your own food in your own home garden. I too used to love food from the grocery store until I heard about a food recall. A food recall due to Escherichia coli contamination of spinach is a good example. It feels like these recalls are happening more frequently too.
Starting a home garden where you grow your own food is the best solution to many of the health issues that we are dealing with today. We have compiled a descriptive list of 9 reasons to grow your own food.
1. Healthier Eating
You will grow in experience tending to your garden and growing your own food. Thus you will learn to eat in season when nutrients and flavors are available at that time of the year. Fresh vegetables and fruits from the garden have more robust flavors. You will harvest vegetables and fruits that ripen in the home garden. And when you consume them they will be as fresh as you can get. This is in contrast to grocery store fruits and vegetables. Usually, they are harvested before maturity and left to mature on the shelves. They aren’t allowed to fully ripen outside. This interferes with flavor and nutrient content. It is clear that nutritional value of foods reduces over time. You would be surprised just how old your “fresh fruits and vegetables” really are.
2. No Toxic Chemicals
The foods bought from grocery stores are commercially grown. Large-scale farmers usually use chemicals to prevent insect infestations as well as disease. These are pesticides, fungicides and herbicides to control plant pests and diseases. Besides, they use artificial fertilizers to improve soil fertility. On the contrary, you control the growing environment of your home garden. You can easily adopt organic ways of pest and disease control and soil improvement.
Consider the bulletin of The Environmental Working Group dubbed “Dirty Dozen” list. It lists top 12 USDA-tested produce containing highest loads of pesticides every year. The 2017 edition listed tomatoes, spinach, celery, potatoes, and pepper as the culprits. Luckily, these are some of the easiest and most productive vegetables you can grow at home.
3. You Can Make Decent Savings
Money is hard to come by now more than ever. If you can find a way to save some money then it’s that much more important you take advantage. The grocery bill is always larger than most other bills. It can be a serious cause of stress and worry. You can shrink the grocery bill a lot just by growing some of the common vegetables that you are already eating. The money that you will save just by not having to purchase them will add up faster than you realize. We tend to brush off those smaller purchases, but they really account for more than you would think.
All you need is a packet of seeds. You will spend less than a dollar for enough amounts of seeds to give you a bounty season’s harvest. Certain seed varieties such as heirloom tomatoes, non-hybrid can be preserved. Later, use them for the next planting season. Simply select seeds from the best producers. Dry them and store them for next season use.
4. Reduced Risks of Food-Borne and Food-Related Illness
Growing food in your backyard is the surest way to know the source of your food. It’s amazing what people can do to get money. Most large-scale commercial farmers rarely care about your health. All they want is your money. Listening to news about food borne or food-related illnesses is disheartening.
In the US alone, up to 48 million people suffer from food-borne illnesses every year according to FDA. Of these, as many as 130,000 people get hospitalized while about 3000 of them die. You can lessen your chance of being a victim of food poisoning by growing as much of your own food as possible. The most common food born illness outbreaks are caused by Salmonella and Listeria.
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5. Helps You Bring Up a Healthy and Responsible Family
One way to keep your family healthy and vibrant is to grow your own food. Young children need a well-balanced diet full of micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients. Fresh vegetables are rich in top-quality vitamins that will support an overall balanced health. Balanced diet and nutrients help your entire family to stay healthy by eating healthy.
Children who eat homegrown vegetables are more than twice as likely to try them and actually prefer them. Getting children just to try vegetables can be a chore so if they genuinely they are going to be a good step ahead when it comes to achieving holistic health. All family members will be involved with tending to the garden. So not only will you be eating healthier, but you will be creating lasting memories of time spent together as a family and we can definitely all use a bit more of that!
6. Contributes To Eco-Friendliness
Global warming really is allegedly one of the biggest threats to the survival of mankind. Adverse human activity is partially to blame for this catastrophic outcome should we get past the point of no return. Starting a garden in your backyard will help to reduce your environmental impact. Growing your vegetables and fruits organically will help to do your part to spare the environment. It will cut the burden of water and air pollution. Producing your own organic food will also reduce your need for fossil fuel. Fewer trips to the store and buying less products. Imagine if everyone was to produce some of their own foods. This would reduce emissions to our atmosphere that contribute to global warming.
7. Good Way to Get Outdoor Exercises
Obesity is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in our society. The major contributing factor to these problems is a sedentary lifestyle. Growing your own garden is a really great way to stay active by getting outdoor exercises. Consider gardening practices and techniques such as tilling, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. They add useful physical activity to your day. Working outdoors exposes you to good quality sunshine and fresh air regularly. And regular physical activity helps you feel better. It also improves your well-being by relieving depression and boosting your energy. When the sun hits your skin, you absorb vitamin D which is known to improve feelings of happiness.
8. Minimizes Food Waste
The second most common component of landfills is organic waste (UNEP). Organic waste is also one of the largest sources of methane emissions. An estimated 30 percent of food supply goes to waste. This accounts for more than 20lbs of food per person each month on average.
Any vegetables and fruits you produce from your own garden will seldom go to waste. You will consume it all and preserve any excess because you will know the effort that it took to produce it. Pieces trimmed or chopped off are not wasted either. You can use them to feed hens and other livestock. Alternatively, you can add them to compost bin or hip to form organic plant food.
9. Guarantees You Food Security
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines food security as being achieved when “all people at all times have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food to maintain active and healthy life”. The best way to guarantee food security for you and your family is to grow your own garden.
Your garden will provide you with direct access to food that you can harvest, process, and feed to your family. This is possible during the growing season if grown outdoors or year round indoors. When the growing season is over, you can use the foods you preserved to feed your family during the winter and spring months. Thus, you will need to learn how to preserve food properly to make it last even longer.
Well there you have it. These are the 9 reasons to grow some of your own food. Many people wish to go organic. However, obtaining organic food from grocery stores may prove very costly with very limited options. And you cannot always be sure it is organic. The surest way is to plant your own garden and enjoy access to healthy, delicious, and fresh vegetables. The big thing here is to just start the garden. Once you begin, you will be surprised you just how much you can benefit from the organic produce of your garden.
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