Is It Time to Start Growing Your Own Food?

Is It Time to Start Growing Your Own Food? by Dr. Joseph Mercola for Mercola

There are many reasons more people are buying seeds and planting their own gardens. One of the main reasons is that you have control over growing your food organically and you can enjoy some of the freshest produce available. During World Wars I and II the government encouraged Americans to grow their own food to help the war effort.1

These plots of land were commonly called “victory gardens,” but were also known as “war gardens” and “food gardens for defense.” During World War I, the new U.S. Food Administration was led by Herbert Hoover to regulate2 “the supply, distribution and conservation of food during the war.”

In response to the need for food conservation during World War I, Charles Chambers created a poster which was printed in several languages. The famous first line, “Food will win the war,” was often quoted3 as it encouraged people to live simply and grow food.

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World War II began a short 21 years later. Unable to maintain food distribution to the military and allies, against whom starvation was being used as a weapon, the government again turned to promoting victory gardens as they began food rationing. The campaign was successful throughout both wars. reports4 that in 1942 there were roughly 15 million gardens planted, which grew by 5 million in 1944. These produced approximately 8 million tons of food, accounting for more than 40% of the fresh produce eaten that year in the U.S:5

“Although the government’s promotion of victory gardens ended with the war, a renaissance movement has sprouted up in recent years in support of self-sufficiency and eating seasonally to improve health through local, organic farming and sustainable agriculture.”

Is It Time to Start Your Own Garden?

The interest in organic gardening at home has been growing, recently spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic.6 This also may be a consequence of a growing understanding of the current food “war” we all fight against an industry that has flooded the market with chemicals and junk food.7

These tactics have driven rising numbers of chronic disease,8 health care costs and deaths as many are deceived about the long-term safety of processed foods. One law school professor calls this movement “GRAS-Fed Americans,” in reference to the FDA category of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) foods that are not subject to approval as they are:9

“… generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use …”

One of my consistent messages is that food is foundational to your health. Processed foods, filled with toxins, dyes and sugars, are a primary driver of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death, causing about 647,000 deaths each year.10 Diabetes, one risk factor for heart disease, was the cause of 83,564 deaths in 2017, and it contributed to 270,702 more.11 Both diseases are influenced by multiple factors, but mostly by metabolic dysfunction.

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