Growing your own plants, according to Martin Laidla of Click and Grow, is effective against stress. It improves the air quality and above all: it is healthier. “Click and Grow lettuce contains almost twice as many antioxidants as supermarket lettuce,” he claims. “And tomatoes contain twice as much lycopene, an antioxidant and the substance that makes tomatoes red.”
Ernst Woltering, professor of product physiology & quality at Wageningen University. recognizes the image that people nowadays look closely at the variety of substances in their vegetables and therefore prefer to grow them themselves. “There are whole groups of people who, for alleged health reasons, value what we call secondary metabolites here. And antioxidants can scavenge harmful free radicals.”
However, according to Woltering, it is questionable whether they end up in the right place in the body. “Take green tea, which is bursting with antioxidants, but they are hardly absorbed.”
Washed in chlorinated water
According to Woltering, anyone who finds vitamins and antioxidants important should take a closer look at what they put in their shopping basket. “The difference in vitamins between the different varieties of peppers is huge.” The cultivation method is also important. It is therefore not surprising, according to the professor, that Click and Grow uses cherry tomatoes. “Small tomatoes usually contain more vitamins and other substances than large tomatoes. That is why they are tastier. I think I can also find tomatoes with more lycopene in the supermarket. The following applies: the redder, the more lycopene.”
Then you are asking a lot from a consumer, says Laidla. How can you, as a consumer, determine how long that good-looking, but waxed bell pepper has been on the shelf? Or which manufacturer washes its lettuce in chlorinated water? Trust me, I’ve been doing it for years and it’s really exhausting. Growing different strains and varieties yourself and eating them right after harvesting is much easier and better for your peace of mind.”
According to Woltering, antioxidants are important for taste. That is why he is trying to grow basil with a higher antioxidant content, for example. “The production of these substances is a protective reaction against a large amount of light. Light causes many free radicals. The plant protects itself against this by producing antioxidants.”
Laidla from Click and Grow knows from her own experience that you can also go too far. “When we exposed plants to extreme amounts of light, the amount of vitamin C increased by 600 percent. But the taste turned bitter. The amount of light in our garden offers the right balance between nutritional value and taste.”
The main advantage of growing food yourself is that as little vitamins as possible are lost after harvesting. “Between harvesting and the moment a lettuce leaf is on the consumer’s plate, the vitamin C has almost completely disappeared,” Woltering admits. Laidla: “It is not for nothing that lettuce in the supermarket is packaged in a protected atmosphere.” The bags contain a mixture of carbon dioxide and little oxygen so that the lettuce does not spoil as quickly.
No chemicals on your plate
In the United States, many Environmental Protection (EPA)-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Today, the EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides, and 30% of all insecticides carcinogenic. In 1987 it was estimated that pesticides could be responsible for an additional 4 million cases of cancer in America alone. If you grow your own food, you can decide for yourself what goes in and what doesn’t. The point is that pesticides are poisons to kill living organisms and therefore can also be harmful to humans. In addition to cancer, pesticides also cause birth defects, nerve damage and genetic changes.
For general health and self-healing
Our bodies have an innate ability to heal themselves. We see evidence of this, for example, in minor cuts and bruises. The body can heal itself without any conscious effort or assistance. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” It has also been said that we can make the equivalent of a drug or drug in our bodies. In order to do that, we need to have the necessary high-quality raw materials at our disposal via our complete and varied diet. Plants picked freshly from the garden are packed with chlorophyll, proteins, vitamins, minerals, botanicals, antioxidants, amino acids and Who knows what else. Moreover, they are provided in a synchronistic way that we cannot yet fully understand. Taking a vitamin pill or a medical drug can’t possibly come close to what Mother Nature has given us through plants. By eating a wide variety of different plants (grown by natural means) you can provide your body with everything it needs to heal itself. This is not to say that medical assistance is not valuable. However, many minor and even some not-so-minor ailments can heal themselves by improving the quality of the food you eat – namely fresh organic produce from your own garden.