Growing Food: For Better Health, Environment & Society
Grow my own food? Why bother?
Personally for me, I have many reasons. I can break them into 3 categories: my health, it's better for the environment, and social contribution.
Jen: Contemplation in the Bugaboo Mountains
I have experienced 2 close family members pass away from cancer. My Dad battled cancer for 7 years, in that time he changed his diet and experienced a quality 6 years before succumbing to the disease. I know a lot of you can relate. Eating healthy reduces our risk of diseases. Yes, of course, we are all going to go sometime... BUT, I am not just eating well to prevent disease, it goes well beyond that for me! It's more about the present. I truly believe in, and feel blessed about, being active, being in nature, and living a full life! Nourishing my body with good food allows me to have the mental, emotional and physical outlook to experience the best of life.
The BEST food, is food you GROW YOURSELF. Why? Plants like, leafy greens, loose their nutrients once they have been picked. For example, leafy greens can loose 50-90% of their vitamin C in 24-48 hours. The longer plants have to be shipped (I'm thinking boxed lettuce from California to BC), sit in the grocery store and in your fridge, the less nutritious value you get from them. We think we are doing something good, by eating a salad, but we are only getting a fraction of its benefits.
Picking fresh greens from the VeggieWall
Growing fresh means I can pick it and use it the same day, maintaining 100% of the foods essential vitamins and minerals! And WOW! Does it ever taste better!
Of course there are other health reasons that are important to me, namely when I grow my own food, I know what's in it. This is often the same reason I buy from local farmers. The organic industry does allow for certain pesticides to be used on "organic" vegetables. Did you know there are pesticides that are banned in Europe that are used in the US?
Lastly, growing your own food opens a whole new world of varieties of produce you can't find anywhere in the grocery stores. The heirloom and organic varieties that are available when you grow from seed are outstanding in flavour, look, and nutritious benefits.
Next blog, I will talk about the benefits to the environment in growing your own food. Until then, eat something fresh & get outside! Thank you for reading.