There are a number of reasons why growing something to eat is a good idea.
1. The fresher the food, the more the nutrients
2. It can be less expensive once you get things set up. For instance, we planted some chard from a $3 pack of seeds in half a wine barrel, which yielded a lot of food for months.
3. Food fresh from your garden tends to taste better
4. You can control what chemicals your food is exposed to
5. You can avoid Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella tainted produce
6. Exposure to sun and fresh air have great health benefits to you while working in your garden
7. It saves transportation costs and environmental impact
8. To be better prepared in case Red Dawn happens, or some other emergency
9. Psychological benefits from seeing the miracle of something emerge from a tiny seed, and feeling the gratifying sense of accomplishment.
10. It may even save you a trip to the store!
11. Children are more likely to eat vegetables that they help grow
12. And this just may be the most important reason: Exposure to soil on your skin and breathing in minuscule airborne particles of dirt and the microbes living in dirt, actually improves your microbiome, which powerfully benefits your health on multiple levels.
Due to my germaphobia that grew (no pun intended) from a prerequisite class for nursing school, microbiology, I had not wanted to have much to do with gardening and getting my hands dirty. However, fairly recently when I came across the very important information about dirt improving ones microbiome, I became very interested in gardening again. We already had a few herbs planted in wine barrels, but last week husband and I expanded our garden with two more wine barrel halves and a black container, and I find that I am now really enjoying the whole process.
So, start small if you have to, but grow something to eat. Soon.
Happy dirty fingernails!