What's more, it's also our best hope of defeating planetary degeneration. Either we move beyond merely treating the symptoms and build this new system instead of belligerence, or we will soon (likely within 25 years) pass the point of no return.
Regenerative Food and Farming: The Road Forward
Regenerative agriculture and animal husbandry are the next and higher stage of organic food and farming
Regeneration is now the hottest topic in the natural and organic food and farming sector, while climate activists regularly talk about the role of organic and regenerative practices in reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions
Inside Regeneration International, which now includes 400 affiliates in more than 60 countries, our conversation has shifted to identifying regenerative and organic “best practices” around the globe
Our goal is to strategize how we can help qualitatively expand and scale-up regenerative best practices so that organic and regenerative becomes the norm, rather than just the alternative, for the planet’s now degenerative multitrillion-dollar food, farming and land use system
Either we move beyond merely treating the symptoms of our planetary degeneration and build instead a new system based upon regenerative food, farming and land use, coupled with renewable energy practices and global cooperation instead of belligerence, or we will soon (likely within 25 years) pass the point of no return
My usual response to the question "What is Regenerative Food and Farming?" goes something like this: Regenerative agriculture and animal husbandry are the next and higher stage of organic food and farming, not only free from toxic pesticides, GMOs, chemical fertilizers and factory farm production, and therefore good for human health, but also regenerative in terms of the health of the soil, the environment, the animals, the climate and rural livelihoods as well.
Or, as my fellow steering committee member for Regeneration International, Vandana Shiva, puts it: "Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the climate crisis, and the crisis of democracy."1
In 2010 Olaf Christen stated, "Regenerative agriculture is an approach in agriculture that rejects pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and is intended to improve the regeneration of the topsoil, biodiversity and the water cycle."2,3 This corresponds almost exactly with the stated principles of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) or Organics International.
Since 2014, the Rodale Institute, IFOAM, Dr. Bronner's, Dr. Mercola, Patagonia, the Real Organic Project, the Biodynamic Movement, the Organic Consumers Association, Regeneration International, Navdanya and others have also been discussing and implementing organic standards, practices and certification, which incorporate regenerative principles. According to Australian regenerative pioneer Christine Jones:
"Agriculture is regenerative if soils, water cycles, vegetation and productivity continuously improve instead of just maintaining the status [quo]. The diversity, quality, vitality and health of the soil, plants, animals and people also improve together."4