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The benefits of home-grown vegetables
The increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular complications, diabetes and cancer is compelling individuals to change their eating habits. Physicians, dietitians and nutritionists are advising people to eat foods that are plant-based including fruits and vegetables. These health experts further encourage people to eat vegetables from the homegrown garden variety as opposed to those from the grocery store. This is because homegrown vegetables have higher benefits than those from the grocery stores. To begin with, home-grown vegetables have a very high nutritive value. Research indicates that home-grown vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins and important trace minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium (Johnson, 2010; Stellner (2010). This is because these vegetables are ever fresh as they do not require transportation. Transporting vegetables exposes them to heat thus leading to the degradation of essential nutrients. For some vegetables such as tomatoes, refrigerating them during transit inhibits the growth of some chemicals that are beneficial to the human body. For example, tomatoes require heat to produce lycopene, a chemical that acts as an antioxidant.
Secondly, home-grown vegetables are cheap. This is because cheap inputs such as organic manure are used in growing these vegetables. Additionally, land and labor are free thus reducing the total cost of growing garden vegetables. These vegetables can also be grown in pots that are placed around the house. It is worth mentioning that using home-grown vegetables reduces food bills.
Moreover, home-grown vegetables are safe since they do not contain harmful chemicals derived from farm chemicals such as growth boosters, pesticides and insecticides. According to Stellner, the farming methods for home-grown vegetables are safe since natural products such as organic manure are used. In other words, individuals who grow their own vegetables are usually aware of what they are eating unlike people who purchase market vegetables that might have been grown using harmful chemicals.
Lastly, home-grown vegetables have a natural taste since they are left to fully grow in the garden. As Johnson and Stellner observe, home-grown vegetables do not lose their natural taste since they are not grown using natural components as opposed to commercially grown vegetables whose taste is altered by the chemicals used in growing them. In addition, the taste of home-grown vegetables is maintained since no transportation is required unlike commercially grown vegetables which risk losing their taste due to unfavorable conditions during transit.