The food that we eat plays an important role in our health. What if we could take control of what we put in our bodies? As. Dr. Kate pointed out in The Wellness Garden, there are many benefits to growing ones own food. For those who have seen the documentary Food Inc, well, it brings the urgency of understanding exactly what we are eating  and where our food comes from to a new level. If you haven’t seen it, it is an awakening experience.

Here is some food for thought from Food Inc. Did you know that the average modern supermarket has 47,000 products, the majority of which are produced by only a handful of food companies? Did you know that 70% of processed foods have some genetically modified ingredient? Statistics also say that one in three Americans born after 2000 will contract early onset diabetes, and among minorities, the rate will be one in two as a result from the food we eat.

So what can you do about this? Get educated about what you are putting in your body. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Its time to get lots of power. Get to know your local farmers by visiting farmers markets. Read the ingredients on the food products that you buy. Can you pronounce everything on the label? If not, you may want to re-think what you are about to purchase.

This summer, my husband and I decided to learn more about a growing trend- urban farming and community gardening in an effort to (hopefully) become more self-sustainable in the future. Through an organization called Gardening Matters, we visit a local community garden each month, and learn about what it takes to grow our own food. The goal is to teach participants how to grow food to meet the needs of the local community.

If you don’t have the space to grow food in your own backyard, try a community garden. Community gardens provide opportunities to grow natural and healthy food, share traditions between cultures and generations, create habitable environments, and most importantly to build community. Maybe this is a new opportunity for you to connect with people in your own community or help feed hungry souls in your own backyard.