- Concerns about food quality. We sacrifice flavor and nutritional value by consuming processed food.
- Lack of ingredient choices. From the abundance of different products on the supermarket shelf, if might appear that a trademark of the American food system is choice. But the FDA decides what we need to know about the contents of the packages we buy at the supermarket, and many of the different products are just new combinations of the same highly processed ingredients.
- Ignoring the hidden costs of our "cheap" food. U.S. supermarket prices don't take into account the actual cost of our food system - the pollution, the reduced effectiveness of antibiotics because of their overuse in commercial meat farming, erosion/topsoil loss, and the toll on our health.
- The price we pay for convenience: Ignorance. We don't understand our food, where it comes from, or what it took to get it to our plate. There's an opportunity cost here, in that we miss out on the satisfaction of wholesome, clean, fair food.
2. There are signficant benefits (economic, social, physical, environmental, financial) to having a garden:
- Safe food. Growing our own lets us opt out of a "totally anonymous system based on minimum-wage, exploited, often uneducated workers."
- High quality food. There's no food fresher than what we harvest from our own backyards. Not only that, but when you choose produce over packaged, convenience food, you get a more nutritious diet.
- True food choice. Growing our own food allows us to decide if we want organic or not, are we for or against GMO's, and do we support the use of added antibiotics and hormones.
- Getting what you pay for. "Every dollar we plunk down for food is first and foremost a vote in favor of the way that food was produced."
- Food security. Even a brief look at our current food system reveals it is anything but sustainable. Knowing how to produce food means knowing how to "sustain" yourself.
Modern eating is above all about forgetting — about what it is we are eating, about its origins in living systems. The alternative is to learn to know our food intimately, to care intensely about its quality and its role in our lives, to share it with gratitude and respect.