The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

By Mary Kozicki, BSc

Having ready access to rich and nutritious produce is only one of the positives.

Securing nutritious food for ourselves and our families has become challenging. It is difficult to find healthy food in grocery stores as commercial farms are now producing foods that are often stripped of nutrients and filled with toxic chemicals and genetic mutations.

Making smart eating choices is essential to living a healthy, happy, and successful life. We are continuously focusing on finding ways to improve our health and wellbeing. An estimated 81 percent of shoppers buy organic food because they feel it is of higher nutritional value than conventional food. Some research shows there is a significant benefit to eating organic foods.

Studies and trends indicate that we are more and more interested in knowing what we are consuming on a daily basis. What better way than growing our own produce? Recent outbreaks of contamination have increased our concerns and consequences of food-borne illnesses. Ensuring nutrient-rich produce is of utmost importance, either in buying produce or growing it yourself.

What could be safer than growing your own garden? What could be fresher than eating a true tomato, picked warm and juicy from the vine at the peak of its ripeness? The enjoyment of the fruit is a complete one. Herbs grown in your own garden add a new, tantalizing richness to your home-cooked meals. And you are just steps away from delicious non-GMO produce that you know is high in nutrition and toxic free.

Will we start eating more vegetables, more home-cooked meals, more nutritious food with our own garden? Will our children understand the importance of eating less fast food and more fruits and vegetables? We need to inspire our children to healthier meals. Clearly, reports show that we are not eating enough fruits and vegetables; obesity in our children is increasing and there are fears they may not outlive their parents.

We must seek ways to tackle these issues and our main focus on health needs to look at promoting a healthy lifestyle rather than curing. This also includes having a healthy effect on our environment. Enhancing supportive environments and encouraging healthy behaviors contributes to primary prevention of disease, but is also intended to have a broader beneficial effect in terms of encouraging people to take responsibility for their health. This idea addresses the concerns that individual responsibility for health is eroding due to a growing reliance on the availability of therapy.

Growing your own produce leads to so many positive results besides rich and nutritious food. It sets a great example for future generations, our children. Good food means better health; good food without chemicals means a cleaner environment. Good food need not be too expensive. The perfect investment in our personal health is one that will educate, motivate, and reward everyone for the rest of our lives.

The interaction between what you eat and its effect on your body and mind unlocks a powerful and scientifically proven tool to use in the quest for maintaining or improving your personal health.

“Take care of your body!  It’s the only place you live in.” This quote from entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker Jim Rohn summarizes why it is essential for everyone to invest in their health. And that can include growing your own food.

Mary Kozicki, BScN, has been in the nursing and business world for many years. Before moving to Penticton in 2011, Mary owned and operated a home support business. She witnessed many aspects of poor nutrition while visiting her many clients. Mary was introduced to the importance of whole food nutrition by her daughter, a medical doctor who saw firsthand, through her practice, the benefits of good nutrition. Mary enjoys knitting, reading, and cheering on the Penticton Vees. Phone 778-476-2469 or email

*Reprint from our Spring 2015 Issue

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