Why Sustainable Food Growing is Important for Good Health
Not sure about you, but in my world... eating is my absolute favorite thing to do. Likely it can be linked to the fact that as a human, we need to consume to survive and admittedly, eating will also provide our bodies with the energy to take us on our adventures.
Adding to eating as a necessity for survival, the way we have our food can be such an artistic expression! We can grow it, prepare it, cook it, and present it in a fashion that is absolutely brilliant.
There are also countless cuisines all around the world which create an endless variety of recipes across all cultures which can inspire us to tantalize our taste buds.
The mix of spices and flavors to create an infusion of smells and tastes is an absolutely delightful experience.
In addition to food preparation as art, is to watch food grow. It is another level of artistry to watch as the wonders of our universe unfold from a tiny seed into a beautiful vegetable.
Then to harvest the food you grow and bring it into the kitchen, oh the glory! And let me tell you, straight up... Food you grow tastes WAY better than the produce from the supermarket.
Don't believe me? That's ok, I challenge you to do a taste test and decide for yourself. Find any local vegetable or fruit that was sustainably grown within an hours drive away. Then buy one that came from another country which you will likely find at the supermarket. Take them home, prepare them how you normally would (keep them separated of course) and have a taste test.
It is so completely clear which one tastes better and it no coincidence. Fresh, local, and sustainably grown food wins every time. When you grow your own food or at least support the small scale growers who use growing food with love and as their artist expression it always tastes better. I am also going to go along and say that I bet it's also more nutritious. It sure tastes that way to me.
How Far Did Your Vegetables Travel?
Alongside the realization that food is art is to eat your food with mindfulness. What I mean by this is connecting with the food you bring home from the grocery store (or maybe your garden) and asking yourself some key questions:
- Where did the food come from?
- How far did it travel?
- Who contributed to the processes of getting the food from the ground to your kitchen?
- What do you think went into the growth of that vegetable or fruit?
Upon reflection of these questions it is inevitable that you will feel gratitude for the multitude of hands that went into getting that avocado to your cutting board.
In my upbringing, I was not taught to do reflect in this manner and did not have much of an appreciation for food. I just wanted to make sure it tasted good and filled me up.
It was not until I found myself in other countries eating the freshest of the tropical fruits realizing the difference to what I was used to in Canada. I had tried mangoes but not until I was in Ecuador had I REALLY tried a mango.
Don't get me wrong, Canada has many amazing organic growers but I am explaining how and when the light bulb went on for me. It lit up the questions I needed to start asking myself.
Sustainable Growing Practices
When eating organic originally came into view for me I did not pay much attention to its importance and thought it was all a load of silliness. Anyone also been there?
I was super confused as to why the heck an organic lemon cost three times the price of a conventionally grown lemon. What's the difference anyways? They will both make my salmon extra tasty right?
It was while I traveled around Australia that I really started to connect with organic food. We would come across multiple farmers who would place some of their fresh produce at the end of their driveway. You were expected to follow the honor system and leave the correct amount of change if you took anything from their stand.
As I started to really taste the difference in the organic food I would buy from the end of drives from the supermarket finds it became oblivious:
Organic small scale farming tasted WAY better!
So that was the beginning of my perception starting to shift to understand: what is organic? What is sustainable? Why does it taste better?
Sustainable is Fair
During the time I worked as an apple picker, it really brought food growing to the next perspective for me, seeing rows upon rows of apples and learning about the ways in which the crops were taken care of and how pests were warded off.
One farm I worked at would maliciously kill any animal that would go anywhere near their crop. They would even pin dead crows at the end of the picking rows to warn other crows of what could happen.
This same farm would have the sprayers suit up, head to toe with a face mask and spray the fields. These guys looked super freaky and the sprayers also looked all wrong.
I will tell you one thing, buying apples in the supermarket has never been the same. The sprayers did not seem organic and the crow killing was absolutely not sustainable. I could not contribute to either of them by purchasing food that would create more business for those types of farmers.
Those farmers will detest to my comment and say how they need to ward of pests so that they can make more money. I will go ahead and say that I saw countless flaws in their day to day operations that could have been fixed to provide them with income they may loose from allowing some birds and bugs to eat some of their apples.
Organic Growing and Consumerism
In the beginning of 2017 I was given the opportunity to take an organic master gardeners course. I learned about the importance of soil and its health. How spraying with pesticides to rid pests only kills the soil and in turn dilutes the health of the crop being grown.
Sure a non organic apple may be bigger then the non organic but if you do a taste test you will surely be able to detest that the organic apple has way more flavor.
The non organic apple was grown in soil which was amended with chemicals to make it retain more water and thus improve the profit of the farmer. In addition to less flavor, poisoned soil means poisoned foods.
How would it make any sense at all for something to be absolutely beneficial for your health when in reality it was grown in dead soil amended with growing aids and in a monoculture farm? It does not make any logical sense.
One may argue with me and talk about how monoculture farming is necessary to feed the masses. I will go ahead and say that whomever brings up that argument is either brainwashed, scared, or they just don't know the truth... perhaps all three.
Furthermore, it is up to us, the consumers to spend our money on food that is grown and prepared ethically and organically. We cannot continue to complain about the state of this planet and some of our horrible growing practices but then head to the supermarket and buy vegetables that came from a pesticide using monoculture crop in California.
Food is Nourishment
By now I hope I have you on the same page as me and you agree that ethical and organic food is better for our planet. Not only is it better for the earth it is better for you and the universe you call your body.
Food is your nourishment, it gets chewed, digested and then turned into energy for you to spend. If the nourishment you seek, was abused in its time of growth or made to develop in unnatural conditions don't you think the energy that would be created for you to use would then also be tainted with negative energy?
I completely and wholly think this way. Call me crazy, I don't mind but I bet you can relate to what I am trying to dish here.
Think about a vegetarian or mindful eater you know... they don't have to be veggie, just seemingly someone who asks questions about where their food came from.
Do you notice how they are more peaceful then that fried chicken, bacon burger loving friend you know and love so well?
Take Time To Connect
Try it out, do your best to connect to your food and ask where it came from and what went into its existence. maybe you can start growing some simple herbs on your windowsil and begin your personal journey into being more sustainable by growing your own herbs. Every little bit counts and stepping into the direction of awareness will lead you to the next step.
I do my best to eat sustainably and to eat food that is from Canada and as close to where I live as possible. In choosing to eat more locally I find that I feel so much more energetic and happy.
This way of eating does mean I do not get to enjoy mangoes and passion fruit, but that is okay.
I am however, completely into my avacadoes and have not given them up.
No one can be perfect but we can try to make a difference in the type of farming we support. Making a difference begins with us doing what we can in our day to day actions of what we choose to purchase.
Eating clean and with awareness feels great, harvest great health for yourself and try it out, one manageable step at a time.
I plan to share the methods I have learned thus far as to how to grow your own nourishing food. Please join my email list (form is just below this) to get an update when I post about how to grow your own food!
Thanks for reading! ♡
Please find me on Instagram to stay in touch!