Since the dawn of mankind, societies have been growing food. What was once a singular pursuit practiced by the family in order to put food on the table, has become a multi-national business as growers throughout the world ship their produce from one country to the next. Still, several issues have recently brought to light the advisability of relying on the knowledge of the past in order to sustain the health of future generations.
Once human society moved from the mobile hunter-gatherers of prehistoric times and into a more stationary way of life, the issue of growing enough food to support the community became a priority. People could no longer deplete the area of food resources and then move on. Even for semi-migratory communities, who moved between regions depending on the season, needed a way to take their ability to grow food with them as they moved. In each of these types of societies, one person was usually entrusted with keeping and/or transporting the seeds that were saved from the crops that were grown, enabling the community to grow their own food in multiple locations year after year.
Fast forward a few thousand years, and most people have become estranged from the practice of growing their own food and purchase most of what they eat from the local grocery store. This mass-produced food is grown in the most efficient way possible to yield the largest production. This means the use of chemical additives, genetic manipulation, and unhygienic processing. The production of food has become less about the quality of the food produced than the quantity. For this reason, and others that we’ll discuss, many individuals are exploring the practice of growing their own food.
Many people have marveled over a neighbor’s juicy red tomatoes or deep green cucumbers. For these people, growing food is often more of a hobby than something they do for better health and greater food safety. Yet, even these small examples of growing your own food invite the discussion of the benefits of doing so.
The reality is that food growers consume a lot of the world’s energy resources to grow, process, and transport food from the farm to the table. Yet, growing our own food takes only a small initial cost investment (tools and seeds) and little time and energy. Whether it’s a hobby or a lifestyle, many people now help with energy saving by growing their own food.
In addition to numerous health benefits, self-sustaining gardens eliminate the need for growers to consume large quantities of gas, electricity, and other energy resources to meet the growing demands of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. Consumers who wish to live a healthy lifestyle as well as ease the burden of a modern economy’s energy needs on the planet may wish to start their own home gardens.
Make it a family project, embark on a small container garden, or just enjoy the simple rewards that come from a home garden – either way, you’ll be putting energy-saving food on the table.