Why Grow Your Own Food?

There are many reasons to grow your own food! Examples include: taste, variety, nutrient density, personal enjoyment, exercise, chemical-free, budget, food security, and many more. What's your story?

We had a conventional garden 20 years ago. We weren't very good at it and my wife was a coupon queen so we decided it was more cost-effective to just buy our food from the grocery store. But coupons were mostly just for highly processed stuff with long lists of unpronounceable ingredients. Little did we know at the time how unhealthy it was.

At some point I noticed that much of the store-bought food had soybean oil and corn syrup as top ingredients - just packaged and flavored differently. I worked for a national retail brand at the time and couldn't believe how many people would obey the T.V. and march in to buy the latest and greatest - as if they had no choice in the matter! When my work had me traveling and staying in hotels a lot I noticed that much of the complimentary breakfast items consisted of white flour and white sugar - just packaged and flavored differently.

About a decade ago we had a cancer scare with my wife that sent us on a learning journey. We became totally disillusioned with what was then the FDA Food Guide Pyramid. Many alphabet-soup federal agencies (most of which are unconstitutional) have a revolving-door staffing relationship with top executives from multinational corporations who leverage regulations to benefit themselves and stifle competition. It's crony capitalism. These same corporations lobby lawmakers and fund or outright own the media. It has given them massive influence over how Americans think, behave, eat, and spend their money.

The corporations pedaling soybean oil and corn syrup, white flour and white sugar - just packaged and flavored 357 different ways (aka the Standard American Diet or SAD diet) - have us acting against our own self-interest! At least until you shut them off and break their spell. This junk food has been linked to innumerable health problems. But since it doesn't kill you today many people keep eating the poison. After all, some of these same corporations have drugs to cover all your symptoms, right? Except that the drugs don't address the root of the problem and they result in a host of side effects requiring additional drugs to cover those symptoms.

While driving through Helena, MT I saw a sign for The Real Food Store. That sounded good to me because by this time we were trying to eat a whole foods diet rather than all the prepackaged stuff. We stayed on that track for many years until I started developing food sensitivities. My work had me traveling so much I had no choice but to eat out a lot. There was a time when eating out was a special treat. That all changed as I came to understand that most restaurant food is literally bad for you. 

What caused the food sensitivities? Leaky gut is what leads to food sensitivities. Heal your gut and they can go away. Junk food is one cause of leaky gut. Heavy toxin loads is another system disruptor that can do it. It doesn't kill you today, it just builds up until things start breaking. Leaky gut can lead to a number of other more serious ailments such as autoimmune disease. The food sensitivities developed around the same time I was given a large library of books that I later realized was contaminated with toxic mold. Likely it was a combination of factors. This is also apparently when I contracted tick-borne Lyme disease. 

Mold Toxin Illness is caused by prolonged exposure to toxic mold. It often results in multiple chemical sensitivities. We now have to eat organic because conventional food is loaded with chemicals. Conventional growers have about 900 chemicals available for their use. 

A few years ago my wife was trying to save on the budget and unbeknownst to me she started buying some non-organic produce using EWG's Clean Fifteen list. This went on for two or three weeks during which time I started having chest pains that increased in intensity until I was experiencing all the signs of a heart attack and went to the emergency room. They ran all their tests and said my heart was healthy. They had no idea what caused my symptoms (but they still charged me thousands of dollars). When my wife confessed she'd been feeding me non-organic produce we cut it out and the symptoms all went away. 

But even USDA Certified Organic can use about 25 different chemicals. And if you ask most growers at farmers markets, most of whom couldn't even begin to afford organic certification, they tell you they use organic practices. Then you visit them and find out they use this chemical only for that rare occasion, and that chemical only for this rare occasion, etc. 

What option do you have left if you want truly chemical-free food except to grow your own?
Strawberries lose most of their vitamin C within a day or two of being picked.
They say the food in your grocery store travels an average of 1500 miles to get there. It rapidly loses it's nutritional content as soon as it's picked. It's picked before it's ripe - before it's most nutritious - and often treated (eg. gassed, waxed, etc) to keep it looking nice for presentation on the shelf. And nutrient-deficient food tastes more bland. 

Imagine gathering fresh and tasty, nutrient-dense food out of your own yard for dinner! 

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  1. Pingback: Gardens, Gardens, and More Gardens! – Sabbatical Ranch

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