"The only way today we can guarantee our foods are not pesticided, irradiated, herbicided, or GMO is to grow our own food."
Gabriel Cousens, MD, the creator of Tree of Life Foundation in Arizona and the author of such wonderful books as "Conscious Eating" and "There Is Cure for Diabetes", states that learning to grow your own food is absolutely essential. With constant food recalls, salmonella contamination, and now Swine Flu, learning why we need to grow our own food is of utmost importance.
Here are just a few reasons why growing our own food is an important step towards great health and also independence:
Food is grown in nutrient/ mineral deficient soils (even organic)!
It's a fact. Our soils are depleted and depleted soils do not produce healthy, nutrient-rich plants. It's also a fact that crops produced in depleted soils are more prone to the invasion of insects, viruses, fungi, etc. Much of the modern world is now aware that our industrialized methods of farming have depleted the soils and created a cycle that requires pesticides to protect the unhealthy crops grown on depleted soils.
Prior to the 1800s, farmers fertilized their crops with organic substances. But modern, economic-based agriculture has virtually replaced all of the critical organic complexes with inorganic fertilizers, which cause toxicity in water runoff and further imbalance the delicate nature of our soils.
The commercial applications of agriculture have not only depleted the soil of precious trace minerals but also have broken down the ability of plants to utilize those elements. That means our food is nutritionally deficient right from the source. Then our food is refined and processed, which further degrades the nutritional value.
Unfortunately, organic produce, although guaranteed to be free of chemicals and pesticides, is still deficient. Many organic farms are established on soils that were previously used for "traditional" farming and are already depleted; it may take years of hard work and commitment from a farmer to restore the soil.
Loss of nutrients and energy in the food due to transportation, processing and irradiation issues
As soon as you harvest fruits and vegetables, their life span eventually begins to deteriorate. These days much of our food comes from various parts of the world, which means it stays in containers for days and sometimes weeks. Then it sits of store shelves even more, losing its nutrients all this time.
Irradiation practices harm our food even further; so now it's almost a guarantee that our food will be nutrient empty by the time we consume it.
Agricultural businesses & Corporations dilute the organic standards to allow mass distribution and profit
Five or ten years ago, when the major food producers saw that organic food was coming into vogue, they smelled higher prices charged for less product, and started producing organic crops. Nearly all organic crops in the United States are either grown, distributed, or sold by exactly the same companies who produce conventional crops. They don't care which one you buy.
Michigan State University's website published charts that show just what corporations are behind organic brands. Curious where YOUR money is going?
Many people I know buy organic thinking they support organic farmers and not corporations. Unfortunately, unless you buy your food at farmers' markets, you are most likely supporting the very system you thought you were fighting.
Food Poisoning Scares
In 2009, U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled thousands of various food items from the market.
We saw salmonella contamination of spinach, chili peppers, tomatoes and now alfalfa sprouts. Every time there is a fresh produce contamination alert, we are forced to look at the options of cooking our foods to avoid the poisoning (not a god option!). Organic food is safer, of course, but there is always a chance of organic produce being contaminated in the future, especially with water pollution from animal farms.
Food costs rising due to fuel and ethanol issues
According to Market Skeptics , the world is seeing a rapid increase in food prices, which is very likely to continue. Prices for food in US grocery stores jumped 6.6% last year, the biggest spike since 1980. The reasons that food costs more are simple: most of what we eat is shipped great distances, and gas is becoming spectacularly expensive. Also, crops sometimes get lost due to excessive heat, lack of sufficient rainfall, or rapid drop in temperatures (similar to what happened in California in 2007 when millions of pounds of citrus froze).
Well, I hope you get the picture. However, this information is intended to awaken you to new possibilities, not to make you feel like the world is coming to an end.
Once you know WHY growing your own food is important, you can now look at HOW.
The first and probably easiest step to take is to begin sprouting. I have already spoken about the importance of sprouting in my previous ezine issues and wrote about it on my blog.
If you are lucky to have a garden space, instead of having it all dedicated to beautiful flowers (not that I have anything against flowers), create space for growing vegetables and planting fruit trees. Anthony Anderson, aka "Raw Model", is a wonderful example of what one can achieve with intention and dedication. Check out his blog for inspiration on permaculture, planting fruit trees, and growing vegetables.
Even if you live in the big city and have little to no space available for creating a garden, it's time to discover Square Foot Gardening. Anthony, while living in New York City, was able to grow his own food on a tiny balcony (check out this post). Yes, you can grow your greens, herbs, veggies in a comfort of your small home if you know how to do it. "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew is one of the best books you can read to learn more about this technique. Of course you don't have to grow every single item you consume, but the more you grow, the better off you would be in a long run.
The most inspiring video on this subject is "Homegrown Revolution" - the possibilities are endless!
And if growing your own food is completely out of the question for you, well, the next best thing I would recommend is to visit your local farmers' markets as much as you can and get to know organic growers so you know who grows your food and what practices they use.
© 2009 Radiant on Raw
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