To grow healthy food, you literally have to start at rock bottom. No matter what you're growing, from chickpeas to chickens, the truth is that you are what they eat!
It's no secret that all life begins with the soil. Although it may look like dirt to the naked eye, organically rich soil is a living, breathing community of microorganisms. These little denizens of the dirt are born, grow, breed, give birth and die leaving an estate of nutrition-filled remains to the soil. While they live, many of these little critters feed on undesirable elements like harmful bacteria. A good balance is very important if you want to grow healthy food
Every year, gardeners spend thousands of dollars on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that are little more than a quick fix to gardening problems and create long-term health hazards for everyone, from humans to single-celled organisms in the soil. If you really want to grow healthy food, the first step is to keep your underground colony in good health.
You need to do two things to maintain healthy soil. The first is to keep out of the chemicals. The second is to add rich organic matter to your soil at regular intervals.
Keep out of the chemicals
No matter what amount of chemical you use in your gardening, a drop is a deluge to a microorganism. More to the point, most chemicals don't fade away. They leech into your garden and wait to attach to some growing thing… like your plants. One example is a gardener who claims to grow organic apples. He doesn't spray his trees, but he does use a chemical "weed & feed" application on his lawn, seemingly unaware of the systemic consequences of using chemicals. Of course his apple trees take their nourishment from the soil. Sometimes chemicals seem convenient, but when it comes to growing healthy food they are a definite no-no!