Why Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative Agriculture is a way of growing food that works with nature, instead of against it. (See full definition here.)
While Industrial Agriculture has enabled exceptional progress to occur since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, we now know that there have been unintended consequences. Much like in the industrialized production of energy, we now know that the scaling of certain practices has led to the degradation of land, loss of topsoil, threats to food security, poisoning of food and water, and, most urgently, to climate change.
Interestingly, in the past forty years we have made exceptional progress on the energy side, and today the goal of being 100% powered by clean energy is no longer a dream. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2016 more than 50 countries committed to being 100% renewable by 2050. A large part of this is due to the price of a kilowatt of renewable energy becoming competitive with that from fossil fuels, something expected to continue as use scales and technology continues to improve.
Regenerative Agriculture, we believe, is the path to achieving similar success on the food side.
Nature, as we all know, is a system of continual renewal in the form of cycles. The Water Cycle uses processes like evaporation, transpiration, runoff and precipitation to move water above, around and below the surface. The Carbon Cycle moves carbon from living things to the atmosphere, and from there back to living things on earth or in the soil.
In fact, photosynthesis itself is what does this, by using the energy of the sun to connect carbon atoms with hydrogen to create CO2, which ultimately brings carbon back down to the soil where nature can use, and store it.
But this only happens if the soil is healthy, and we now know that certain industrial techniques of agriculture—like the use of chemicals, deep tilling, and mono-cropping—can disrupt nature’s ability to do this and trap carbon in our atmosphere.
The good news is that Regenerative Agriculture can restore soil health, and then keep it healthy as it again draws carbon down. Regenerative Agriculture can also make farmers more profitable as they improve their yield security while decreasing their costs.
In simple terms, healthy soil will help keep the carbon and the water cycles healthier, making the entire planet healthier and reducing the threat of climate change.