By Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN, Founder of The Well Essentials
What if the answer to a significant part of our climate crisis could be found right beneath our feet? Well, that solution does exist – it’s called regenerative organic farming and it’s one of our best chances for saving our planet.
But, if you’re wondering why you’ve never (or rarely) heard about regenerative farming if it’s such a powerful tool for fighting climate change, then you’re not alone. While regenerative farming is one of the oldest forms of farming, thanks to our current conventional food system, it’s a way of farming that, in many ways, was forgotten, and that we are just now beginning to bring back to life (pun intended).
What is Regenerative Farming?
Regenerative farming is a traditional way of farming that incorporates agricultural practices and principles that support local landscapes, improve biodiversity, enrich soil quality, and improve watersheds. This form of agriculture can be used for all types of farming – from plant-based foods to livestock and fibers – that ultimately become the clothes we purchase and wear.
When regenerative farming is done correctly, it doesn’t require the use of GMO crops, pesticides, herbicides, and wasteful water systems. Instead, it works by encouraging the native ecosystem it’s a part of as a whole, and in return, benefits from the protection that nature naturally knows how to give. This means that disease, water runoff and other common farming issues become obsolete, making the need for complex chemical solutions in farming unnecessary.
How Can Regenerative Farming Help Our Climate Crisis?
What is arguably the most exciting part about regenerative farming is the way in which it can help reverse our climate crisis. Regenerative farming is considered a “natural climate solution,” which basically refers to natural land use solutions we (or nature) already have in place to increase carbon storage solutions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Regenerative farming is one of these natural climate solutions because it protects and improves the health and biodiversity found within native landscapes. It also utilizes a means of farming that’s capable of removing carbon from the atmosphere – trapping it within the soil and reversing the current climate trends we see today.
The good news is that there are even more benefits that extend far beyond the positive impacts that regenerative farming can have on the health of our planet. This traditional form of farming also improves the health of local farming and ranching communities that are often negatively impacted by the landscape breakdown and chemical exposure associated with our current conventional farming system today.
What Can You Do to Support Regenerative Agriculture?
There’s currently no official label or seal of approval (yet!) stating if something was grown regeneratively, which can make it difficult to know as a consumer how you can support the regenerative farming movement. But, while there may not be an obvious label for you to look out for today, there are many simple ways that you can become more involved in supporting regenerative farming – from the companies you buy from to the local farms you support in your area.1. Support Companies Who Advocate for Regenerative Farming
As a consumer, you have the capacity to create significant change in our food system and climate crisis simply by the way you choose to spend your money and the companies you choose to support. By supporting companies that invest in regenerative farming, you’re choosing to vote for the way you think business should be run and the type of food system you want to be a part of.
For these reasons, Navitas Organics has dedicated itself as a company to supporting organic and regenerative farming practices for more than 16 years and continues to be a leading advocate for a sustainable and ethical global food system.2. Donate to Regenerative Farming Non-Profits and Research Organizations
There are so many incredible nonprofits and organizations working to improve education, access, research, and funding for regenerative farming practices all over the world. So, if regenerative farming is something you feel passionate about supporting, then seeking out a nonprofit dedicated to changing our food system is a great way to show your support.
Here are a few incredible organizations fighting for regenerative farming:
More than just our food can be grown regeneratively and there is a movement in our clothing industry to use more regeneratively produced fibers. So, the next time you go to buy a new piece of clothing, take a moment to notice which textiles were used to make it.
Some excellent examples of regenerative textiles include hemp, linen, organic cotton, and climate-beneficial wool.4. Shop Locally and Support Regenerative Farmers in Your Area
One of the best ways to become more involved in your food system is to support your local farmers. While not all small farmers may use regenerative farming practices, many have been their entire lives! Just ask your local farmers how they’re farming and they’ll be happy to share their farming practices with you.
Supporting your local regenerative farmers is also a great way to help protect and conserve local landscapes in your region from conventional farming and commercial development. Our current food system does not make it easy (or lucrative) for small farmers to farm regeneratively, which is why your continued support matters more than you may realize.
So, there you have it – four simple ways for you to get more involved in supporting a regenerative food system, the health of our bodies and the health of our planet in a powerful way.