Many New Orleans residents live in neighborhoods that are considered “food insecure.” Residents in these areas are swamped with processed convenience foods that are saturated with sugar, salt, and fat, but they have little or no access to a sustainable source of fresh, healthy vegetables. According to the “Minding the Meal Gap” survey conducted by Feeding America in 2011, 23 percent of households in Orleans parish are food insecure.
Growing your own food also increases the nutritional value of your meals. Once fruits and vegetables are harvested, they begin breaking down their own organic material for energy. As a result, the nutrients begin to disappear. Most produce at grocery stores has been transported several hundred miles from the farm, to a warehouse, to your store, which takes about a week on average. Due to this transport time, grocery store produce has often lost almost half of its original nutritional value by the time you purchase it. There is nothing healthier than consuming food that has been freshly harvested.