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Edible gardening may pave the way to better national health

10 July 2012
Edible gardening may pave the way to better national health

In the past two decades, America's obesity rate has steadily grown. In fact, according to recent statistics, over 35 percent of the United States' adults and around 17 percent of its children, aged 2-19, are clinically obese. Given that obesity can lead to serious health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the government has snapped into action by issuing new guidelines and mandates regarding healthier food. Indeed, the USDA scrapped its food pyramid model for a food plate model where half the plate is devoted to vegetables and fruits for every meal. It appears that American institutions are finally coming around to the serious social health threats obesity and bad nutrition can cause down the road. In fact, according to some medical experts, much of America's current health care cost crisis could have been prevented with a better health and exercise regimen.

One possible key contributor to the renewed national focus on a healthy and active lifestyle is edible gardening. Not only does gardening help individuals get some daily activity; it also yields fresh tasty healthy food. Indeed, there is a rising awareness among consumers about the benefits of edible gardening. No wonder many garden centers are increasingly catering to baby boomers and gen X'ers interested in edible gardening. Here are some quick tips on how your garden center can join in this trend.

Brand your store as a healthy garden center. Focus on putting up signs that emphasize active gardening and health. Put up signs extolling the virtues eating fresh from the garden. Make your employee recruitment signs conform to this 'health' ethic as well. At every turn, remind your shoppers about the physical activity bonus gardening gives.

Creat new sections about safe and healthy food growing techniques and supplies. Appeal to young families concerned about their food safety.