Have you ever read articles on and weight loss, fitness and nutrition? This expert says this and that expert says that. Everything contradicts everything, and nothing makes much sense, just a schizophrenic jumble of word soup eating our brains.


So, whenever someone mentions that they want to grow their own food, what does that mean? It's confusing from my end because my life experience with weight loss and fasting gives me a very different understanding of what food is than someone whose experience with food is purely qualitative.


Food Energy


Here's what I mean, talk to any physiologist, and they'll tell you that food is energy. Energy in and energy out. If you put more energy into your body than you need, your body will automatically store it as fat. It's like money. If you make $40,000 per year salary and only live on $30,000, you have $10,000 surplus. What do you do with the surplus? Ultimately it's saved in order to be spent later, .e.g., rainy-day fund, stocks, investments, business capital, car repairs, house maintenance and etc.


Well, your body automatically does this for you. You don't have to think about it. This analogy breaks down because when your body stores too much fat it causes a bunch of health problems like heart attacks and diabetes. So, our bodies need some fat reserves, but too much becomes unhealthy.


Now, listen to this: There are certain foods that have a lot of energy and certain foods that don't. By and large the foods that most people think of when growing a vegetable garden do not have enough energy to keep us alive if that was all we ate. When someone says they want to grow their own food, I wonder if they are asking how to grow energy producing foods or just vitamin and mineral producing foods. Do they even know the difference? Am I going to insult them by trying to explain the difference? Nonetheless I will press on.


Here's the Thing:


Most people's experience with food is qualitative. We eat for comfort when stressed. We eat to celebrate. We eat to be with friends and family. We eat when we're bored. We eat when we're happy. We eat when watching a movie. We eat while driving. We think about eating when we're not eating. We live in a culture that eats a lot. I'm fine with that! I love eating!


The confusion comes when people decide to "get healthy." Their only experience with food is it's quality. They believe they've gained weight because they've eaten unhealthy foods, bad foods or "junk" foods, thinking that if they replace "junk" foods with healthy, organic foods they will lose weight and regain their health.


Well, if it's a one-to-one replacement, they're still consuming too much energy, and their bodies will continue to store it as fat. Search around the internet for the shear number of vegetarians who put on lots of fat as a result of going vegetarian. It has nothing to do with the quality of the foods they're eating. It pure quantitative. It's nuts and bolts, shear numbers; it's and energy in and energy out. Too much is still bad for you no matter how 'healthy" you think it is.


Foods That Release Energy


Okay, here's a list of foods that produce the shear quantity of energy you need, although this is not an exhaustive list:

  • meats: chicken, beef, pork and fish
  • grains: rye, wheat, corn and oats
  • oils and fats: olive oil, butter and etc.
  • carbohydrates: potatoes, sweet potatoes and beans

Foods That Produce Vitamins and Minerals


Here's a list of vitamin and mineral producing crops. This is not an exhaustive list:

  • salad greens
  • collard greens
  • mustard greens
  • turnip greens
  • lettuces
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers

When I say food, I mean food energy, and I primarily concentrate my gardening on foods that produce the most energy. Some of you have never heard this stuff. It's important to know your focus and clearly define why you're gardening.


Growing for vitamins and minerals don't require as much effort as growing for energy. Growing organically takes more planning and forethought than using synthetic methods. It all depends of your situation the method and technique you'll use, and you'll likely use several different methods over time before you find one or a combination of methods that work best for your needs. Growing to survive the apocalypse requires a much different approach than growing to save money on things like lettuce and tomatoes.


Here are a couple articles you may find informative:


[Information]: Food Energy

[Information]: The Calorie



Grow'em big!


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