Fruits and vegetables are loaded with super healthy nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamins A and C, and many others. Unfortunately, most Americans are eating far less fresh plant based foods than recommended and what they are eating is often drowning in salt and fat.
Not all vegetables are created equally and because labeling on produce is not as informative or available as other food products, our trust is (sometimes reluctantly) placed in farmers and suppliers to keep our food safe.
The main factor caused by our apprehension in this regard, is the boom of information the mainstream media has put out about GMO in the past few years. For those who don’t know, GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) are great in some aspects, but can also harm the environment and consumers, especially when companies aren’t obligated to label what chemicals have been used in their growth. For more info on the recent uprise against GMO companies like Monsanto, check out this article.
The only true way to know your veggie’s complete health history is to grow your own. In recent years there has also been a significant push for consumers to “buy local.” Whether it be rocking chairs or potatoes, buying local is better for not only the local economy, but in many cases the planet as these products don’t need to be transported great distances consuming energy along the way.
Specifically on the produce side, planting a garden will encourage you to embrace Mother Nature by growing varieties that are in season and native to your region.
Another great benefit – freshness! Many kids will have a meltdown if previously frozen soggy peas so much as touch their mac and cheese, but the crunch of a freshly picked snap pea can be a different story altogether.
Someone in your family not on board yet for planting an edible garden? Here are some things to get them thinking:
Next Avenue: Gardening’s Surprising Health Affects
Underwood Gardens: Overlooked benefits of Home Gardening
The Mother Nature Network: 4 Surprising Benefits of Gardening
If you’re ready to get planting, check out this free downloadable e-book “How to Plant An Urban Edible Garden in 10 Steps or Less”.
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