Environmental and personal health are the two main benefits of organic gardening that are gaining popularity. Despite the misconceptions it is by far the best option for every aspect. Yup, it gets flack…mostly from companies who profit from the sludge they spray all over our food. But I’ll address that below too.
The Health Benefits of Organic Gardening
Do you know that chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers have been linked to:
- Breast cancer
- Damaged brain function
- Birth defects
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Prostate cancer
- Childhood leukemia
- And much, much more…
So probably one of the biggest health benefits of organic gardening of all, is just simply skipping all the risks. It’s a pretty simple logic. You’d think more people would get it. But unfortunately misinformation is spread about “toxic load” and consumers don’t realize that a) what they are exposed to is much greater than what labs test for, and b) all the so-called “safety” has created a false sense of security around such chemicals, to the point where no one even reads the basic safety precautions on the bottle.
In addition to skipping the risks, is the benefit of the gardening itself. Without the potential of chemicals messing up your efforts, gardening also:
- Increases Our Vitamin D: It only takes 20 minutes a day of sunshine to get the optimal amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to Type 1 diabetes, bone density, joint and muscle pain, heart attacks, multiple types of cancer, and much more.
- Enjoyable Exercise: Most people don’t love the gym, but still need to get active. And I don’t think I need to tell you why that matters. Gardening can be an enjoyable way to increase your exercise in a purposeful, “really doing something meaningful” kind of way.
- Reducing Stress: Chronic stress is a serious issue, linked to a suppressed immune system, heart disease, weight gain, and more.3 Being outdoors, connecting with Nature, fresh air and sunshine…it’s one of the healthiest solutions to one of the biggest killers.
- Good Soil Bacteria Makes You Happy: Did you know scientists have isolated a bacteria that occurs in soil that acts as a natural antidepressant? So don’t go killing those good bacteria with all those nasty chemicals, which have been linked to the opposite!
- Offers Another Affordable Solution to Food Costs: There are lots of ways to make organic food affordable, and growing your own obviously tops the list. It can be an upfront investment, depending on how you do it, so just watch for the difference between “needs” and “wants”.
The Environmental Benefits of Organic Gardening
When considering organic gardening, we have to consider the environmental impact of conventional gardening.
Many studies have been done about the mixture of pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides. Each report shows serious immune, hormonal or neurological impacts of the current toxicity levels of our groundwater.
Pesticides are also nondiscriminatory, meaning they kill beneficial insects as well as harmful ones. Harmful chemicals are thought to be a possible cause to bee colony collapse, and affect butterflies and other pollinators necessary to grow food.
Along with chemical pesticides, fertilizers are thought to contribute to a decrease in plant food nutrients7,8, which affect all species. And because of the nondiscriminatory way in which these chemicals work, we may have yet to discover how much they are affecting animals directly, although we do know that 67 MILLION birds and up to 14 MILLION fish killed each year due to pesticides.