A recent study on food borne illnesses from Georgetown University highlights the importance of growing your own fruits and vegetables. While most of us are growing our own food to save money, have fresh, nutritious produce, and reduce our carbon footprint, avoiding harmful germs is yet another reason.
In their study, Health-Related Costs from Food Borne Illness in the United States, researchers calculated that acute food borne illnesses cost the United States an estimated $152 billion in healthcare, workplace, and other economic losses a year. Of those losses, more than a quarter of these costs, an estimated $39 billion, are attributable to food borne illnesses associated with fresh, canned, and processed produce. California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania were the states most affected by food borne illness.
So if you want to lessen you chances of encountering E. coli, salmonella, and other nasty germs, grow your own fruits and veggies. At least you'll know what fertilizers and sprays were used to grow them. Of course, always wash store bought, farm bought, and your own produce thoroughly before eating.