Hopefully, regenerative agriculture is a term you’ve seen thrown around lately. And you might be thinking why should I care about it? Well, before we dive deep at all, let’s clear a few things up. Regenerative agriculture produces REAL beef. It has no relationship with chemicals or laboratories or soy or beakers or lab coats or anything that is fake. It is a set of practices that basically harness the powers of, for lack of a better word, nature. Regenerative agriculture involves allowing animals to graze the way they are built to graze, on real grass seeped in rich soil. When these animals spend their lives on grass, eating, upcycling nutrients, then returning those nutrients into the soil (pooping and peeing), then squishing it all around with their hooves, it creates a potent organic mixture in the soil that provides a phenomenal environment for microorganisms to flourish. And those microorganisms in the soil live and eat and poop and create a natural fertilizer. That creates strong grass, which also eats. But grass eats through photosynthesis. And the output of photosynthesis is oxygen, while the input is carbon dioxide! Remember biology class in high school?
So why does this all matter? Well according to the World Fair Trade Organization, “since the dawn of farming, it is estimated that worldwide, agricultural soils have lost from between 30% to 75% of their original soil organic carbon, and with that, a key source of fertility and resilience. In the last century, with the widespread adoption of industrial agricultural practices such as synthetic nitrogen fertilization, intensive tillage and monocropping, the depletion of soil carbon has only accelerated.
The carbon that is lost from the soil ultimately goes into the atmosphere where it becomes a greenhouse gas and contributes to climate change. The food system at large—including feed, fertilizer and pesticide manufacture, processing, transportation, refrigeration and waste disposal—accounts for 30% or more of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Much of this comes from mismanagement of land—from an approach that views soil as dead dirt—rather than as a living resource that must be nurtured.”
So why does regenerative agriculture matter? Because it allows us to stop that cycle of destroying the soil beneath our feet, and the air that we breathe. It allows us to regenerate the lands we use, instead of depleting them and turning them into waste. We’re going to have to eat for a long, long time, so it’s of the utmost importance that we eat right. That we practice responsible techniques for making our food, and that we treat the earth, our greatest resource, with respect and with a recognition that we need Mother Earth to continue to provide for us. Remember, it’s not the cow, it’s the how.
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