Healthier Eats: Why Garden-to-Table Vegetables Trump the Supermarket Variety?

man harvesting vegetables

Without a doubt, America is one of the most influential nations. Its superpower status has been largely uncontested for decades now. But the health of its citizens is another thing altogether. The United States home to 13% of the fat population of the world. That’s more than any other country in the world. It’s a mind-blowing fact to think that the fat population of both India and China combined, countries with over a billion people each, is totaling 15% of the overweight population of the world.

While there are many factors why a substantial number of Americans are heavy, one of the biggest is diet. It’s no accident then that America is a fast food nation. As pundits point out food manufacturers today make food so tasty to get people hooked. This, despite the fact that these highly engineered foods lack needed nutrients. So as more calories are taken in, people accumulate fats unnecessarily.

A good way to counter this is to rely on fruits and vegetables. Not only do these foods give you an ample supply of vitamins and minerals. But also they can help you fight cancer and a slew of life-threatening diseases.

And if you really want to make the most of the fruits and veggies, getting the garden variety is the best choice you can make. Here’s why:

The Problem with Commercial Variety

So why not take on fruits and veggies from the supermarket? More often than not, commercial breeders produce varieties to give them higher yields and greater profit. For instance, they’ll have to come up with a variety that lasts longer for shipping purposes. Along the way, the nutrient value of these products gets sacrificed.

It’s no accident then that research by no less than the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals significant drops in nutritional content in many commercially-produced crops. Said study was done on 43 distinct fruits and vegetables from 1950 to 1999.

Experts attribute said decline to newly-cultivated varieties. As commercial growers focus on fast-growing high-yield plants, these plants are unable to process needed nutrients compared to low-yield slow-growing varieties.

When you grow your fruits and vegetables in your backyard, you give yourself a wide choice of plant varieties. Heirloom varieties, for one, passed from one generation to the next are within your reach. These products have superior taste and greater nutrients.

Grow Them Right

As your goal is to produce crops with superior nutrients, make sure you observe the right gardening practices. Take note that the quality of your soil is a huge factor in producing the right crops. Know that vegetable gardens will require lots of soil nutrients. For one, you need to keep a close eye on the soil pH.

The pH of the soil certainly won’t change the number of nutrients in the soil. But it is central in determining whether these nutrients stay in the right form that plants can absorb. Thus, added fertilizer might not be totally absorbed if the pH is off.

Additionally, you can use cover crops to replenish soil nutrients. Also, you should look into integrated pest management to keep things just in the right balance.

Of course, keeping your garden protected from intruders whether human or animals is wise. A fence should bid you well in this regard.

As much as possible, having a garden on level ground is best. Not only is it easier to maintain, but you will not have problems with topsoil eroding when the rains fall hard or the winds blow strong.

You can still make the most of sloped portions of your backyard. You can always use contour rows, raised beds, or terraces to plant your crops. Surely it makes life easier for you, not to mention solve your erosion issues.

However, if the slope is too steep or you have ample space to garden elsewhere, you can let erosion experts in. They can use effective hydroseeding methods to keep the topsoil from eroding. To boot, grass will grow better and faster that way compared to traditional methods and relying on sods.

Greater Advantage

Nothing compares to the freshness of garden-variety fruits and vegetables. With such a setup, the only delay you get is the time it takes you to harvest from your garden to the kitchen table. Without a shadow of a doubt, your fruits and veggies are at their best.

For one, there’s little to no time for the harvest to deteriorate when you have a garden-to-table variety. With commercial options, deterioration time lasts longer. Nutrients, therefore, stay intact when you source from your garden. As commercial produce travel over great distances, the amount of nutrients drops more and more each day.

This is assuming the transportation runs smoothly. Take note that changes in temperature as veggies travel various time zones and exposure to the elements can further speed up product deterioration.

With your garden variety, travel is just a few steps away. It’s definitely one formula to a healthier family and healthier you.

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