Foods full of artificial additives, that have been genetically modified, or that are sourced in a way that harms the environment or fails to fairly compensate laborers, fill some of our supermarket shelves. In response to this “food crisis,” over 20,000 health food stores have sprung up. And some 75% of ordinary grocery stores now sell organically grown products.
But it is hard to find organic versions of all the fruits and vegetables you would like to eat, and it can be expensive buy them. Is there are better way?
We think there is. Growing your own vegetables and fruits offers numerous unique health and wellness benefits, and homegrown foods should be at least a part of everyone’s diet. Here are 5 of the most important benefits of “growing your own health food:”
“Growing your own vegetables and fruits
offers numerous unique health and wellness
benefits, and homegrown foods should be at
least a part of everyone’s diet.”
1. Fresher Produce
Fruits and vegetables in the grocery store produce section has often traveled hundreds or even thousands of miles before it reaches you. It may then sit on the shelf for days longer waiting to be bought.
By contrast, you can pick produce from your home garden and eat them the same day. That makes a huge difference with some vegetables, like sweet corn, that begin to lose sweetness immediately after being picked.
Fresher produce gives you higher nutrient content, besides just tasting better. So you win both ways when you grow your own.
2. Better Varieties
What you buy at the store is mass produced and grown with shipping and storage in mind. Tomatoes are a classic example of this, the store-bought varieties having tougher skins and less juice so they will “pack better.”
Carefully select the highest nutrition, best tasting, and highest yield vegetables from health-conscious seed companies like Seed Needs, and your harvest will be superior based on genetics alone.
3. Less Pesticides
One of the major concerns with store-bought food is the possibility of pesticide residues and pesticide runoff into local wetlands. Homegrown food can be produced using less pesticide, and there are even alternatives like diatomaceous earth, strategically planted herbs and flowers that deter insects, and homemade natural “concoctions.”
4. Recycling of Compost
Gardening gives you a great way to recycle all of your organic garbage: composting. And the nutrients you put back into the soil will do wonders to help your vegetable garden grow healthy and strong. While you may still need to invest in a little chemical fertilizer for best results, rich, black mature composted dirt will make it far easier to grow a satisfactory crop.
5. Extra Exercise
Not to be overlooked is the fair amount of physical exercise you will expend in preparing and caring for your garden each year. Use of a sprinkler system and keeping down weeds with mulch (once plants are 4 to 6 inches tall) will reduce the time and labor necessary, but you will find that gardening can truly double as a fitness training program.
There are endless creative ways you can enhance the healthiness of your diet and of your lifestyle. One of these is by growing at least a portion of your own fruits and vegetables in a home garden plot. The benefits are both direct and indirect, ranging from fresher, more vitamin-rich produce to addressing environmental concerns to becoming more physically active
Do you grow your own “health food”?
What foods do you grow?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
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