Regenerative Food is Healthier for You and the Planet

We know that we don’t need expensive superfoods
to be healthy
, but what if all of the food we grew were
nutritionally dense? Regenerative farming’s purpose is to fight
climate change and to produce healthier, regenerative food by
building healthier soil.

What if all food were a superfood? Regenerative farming fights climate change and produces healthier, regenerative food by building healthier soil.
Creative Commons photo via Ashevillage Institute.

Regenerative food is more than just a superfood trend, but
before we talk about what regenerative foods are, let’s talk
about what makes a superfood a superfood.

What are superfoods? To
answer that question, we need to look at how our industrialized
food system works. As we’ve moved more and more toward
industrial agriculture, farmers have been selecting seeds based
on how well they grow. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but
a hardier plant isn’t always the most nutrient-dense. Foods
like white onions and iceberg lettuce may be easy to grow, but
nutritionally they’re not so hot.

Meanwhile, we’ve moved from using organic inputs – like compost
– to fossil fuel-derived fertilizers and chemical pesticides.
These farming practices further damage our soil.

Superfoods are fruits and vegetables that either haven’t been
selected down in this way or have maintained a good nutritional
profile despite the biodiversity loss.

But what if we could rebuild our soil and transform our
agricultural system so that every vegetable in the produce
section was as nutritionally dense as it was before the
industrial agriculture boom? Proponents of regenerative farming
believe that we can, and that we can mitigate the effects of
climate change while we’re at it.

Regenerative Farming

Regenerative food refers not to the food itself but how it’s
grown. Think of it as the next level of organic
agriculture. According to Regeneration International,
“The key to regenerative agriculture is that it not only “does
no harm” to the land but actually improves it, using
technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and the
environment.” Farmers grow regenerative food using
permaculture principles.

The technology they refer to are farming techniques that help
our world’s soil capture more CO2. Regenerative
farming fights climate change by diverting CO2 back
to the soil, where it can nourish our crops.

Health Benefits of Regenerative Food

And the great news? Food grown this way isn’t just better for
the planet: it’s better for us. Our foods are less nutritious
than ever
because of soil degradation, so farming practices
that build healthy soil also grow healthier foods.

The good news is that regenerative food can refer to anything
from carrots to coffee (or whatever hot beverages for breakfast you
enjoy*). The bad news is that finding regenerative foods isn’t
always easy. Regeneration International has some helpful tips for how to
make your food habits more regenerative. Here are some to start
with:

  • Eat less meat. Or no meat! Meat production
    is an incredibly inefficient use of soil, land, and water.
  • Buy from small farms. The money we spend on food
    matters
    . Shop from small, local farmers
    whenever you can.
  • Grow your own food. The most local food
    comes from your garden, whether it’s raised beds in the backyard or
    containers on your porch. In your garden, you can control how
    you treat the soil and choose healthy inputs like compost to
    build healthier soil.

There are companies like Nutiva, Patagonia Provisions, and Dr.
Bronner’s who are committed to supporting regenerative farming.
Patagonia created a short film about how regenerative farming
works and how regenerative food could solve climate change
and world hunger. It’s inspiring and definitely worth a watch:

*This post was sponsored by Harlan Fairbanks.


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