Growing your Own Food – Why it Matters
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Why does it matter that you grow your own food? The simple truth is that there are multiple benefits to growing your own food.
Now let’s dig into the details.
Growing your own food helps not only nourish you and your family, but it also makes your environment thrive.
Here’s why it matters:
1. Growing your own food helps sustain your community
In recent years, the concept of urban farming began taking root in the urban setting. But the notion of farming still brings up the idea of backbreaking labour under Malaysia’s hot sun. In fact, the agriculture industry has moved far beyond that.
With farm tech complementing your garden, it doesn’t have to be as tiring and manual.
In Malaysia’s cities, the land is limited and living in the city can get pretty monotonous with the same structural designs. Agriculture in cities provides the much-needed green space.
Urban farming is perfect is you’re looking to create a community garden in your area.
Communities can get together to form a community garden as a way to provide fresh healthy food, socialise and educate children on food growth.
A study even found that adults with a household member who participated in a community garden were more likely to consume for more fruits and vegetables a day than those who did not!
2. Fresh, local food reduces your carbon footprint on the environment
Imported fruits and vegetables are delicious but it brings a huge carbon footprint from the farm to your plate. Packaging, transportation and handling are the main culprits. It is estimated that the average meal travels up to 4,200 miles just to get to your table.
When you produce or buy local food, you directly contribute to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption. This reduces the carbon footprint of your produce.
3. Growing your own food Increases your food security
Here’s the thing: urban farming isn’t going to feed cities yet. It’s a possibility for the future; a bright possibility. But not yet.
What we are sure of though: urban farming can feed you and your family.
Malaysia depends on the import of agro-food to feed its population. According to this article, in 2017, Malaysia imported RM 245 million worth of chillies, RM 238 million worth of mushrooms, and RM 311 million worth of vegetables.
Problems arise when there is a bump in the supply chain. For example, natural disasters, workers strike, economic downturn, political issues are contributing factors that can affect the food supply.
Growing your own food through urban farming reduces your dependency on food imports. It provides a strong alternative source of fresh food.
4. Reduces the amount of land space cleared for agriculture activities in rural areas
If you grow vegetables in your backyard or on your property, you are reducing the amount of land used for growing crops. It helps conserve natural resources and habitats.
Land clearing is still a necessity in the agriculture industry. However, it isn’t so good for the environment.
In a report released by the IPCC, emissions from land use in agriculture, forestry and land clearing make up the majority of the 22% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Another 7% includes fertiliser, transportation, processing and sales. That’s a lot coming from just one industry alone!
5. You are in control of what and how you grow your food
It’s no secret that our produce is laden with various pesticides and chemicals.
The benefit of fresh food is obvious. Local produce is fresher and safer. With food you grow on your own, you’re able to control the quality of the food.
As there is no need for pesticides or fertilizers, there would be a lesser environmental impact of the farm. It is also noted that these types of farms do not produce organic wastes that can pollute the environment. You can also offer fresh and organic food, which has a variety of other health benefits.
Doing so will make a world of difference to your environment. Just think about the positive impacts that you can have in just a couple of years!
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