The notion of nutritious food produced by natural methods understandably appeals to consumers who are worried about the health effects of pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals often used by today’s farmers.
For centuries, food growers have tampered with plant and animal genetics by crossbreeding to bring out desirable traits while suppressing less desirable ones. Refinement of such techniques has enabled farmers to produce increasingly abundant crops. But at what price?
Few foods reach the supermarkets free of additives, substances that do not occur naturally in a food. Preserved foods have more additives than their fresh counterparts.
Many foods produced conventionally are marketed as “natural” or “organic” products. Many states have created their own standards, but there are no national guidelines to define organic products.
If you are skeptical of the many additives found in foods today (and God knows, you should be concerned), you can join the growing number of people who are rediscovering the rewards of growing foods in their own gardens.
The best way to guarantee that your food is truly “natural” or “organic” is to grow it yourself. Because natural is definitely better.
Instead of using artificial fertilizers, try natural products, such as sterilized manure, fish or bone meal, or dried blood. These replenish the soil, are easily absorbed, and encourage the growth of soil bacteria and worms, which in turn promote healthy plant growth.
Mulching with bark chips adds nutrients to the soil, discourages weeds, and retains moisture.
Instead of using pesticides, intersperse rows of vegetables with bright scented flowers to attract insects that attract garden pests.
Some weeds are actually beneficial. For example, a nettle plant attracts ladybugs, which feed on aphids. Try companion planting to control pests. Plant rosemary with cruciferous vegetables to discourage cabbage moths. Marigolds help fend off carrot rust flies, and summer savory protects beans from whiteflies.
Good nutrition is essential for getting better and staying healthy.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit (Matthew 7:18)