“Regenerative food, farming and land use can provide a solution to the health crisis, the water crisis, environmental degradation, climate change, rural poverty, hunger and war.” –Ronnie Cummins, Founding Meeting of Regeneration International, June 9, 2015, Finca Luna Nueva, Costa Rica
If you’d walked up to a farmer 100 years ago and told him farming would one day threaten life on Earth, he probably would have laughed in your face, saying such a thing simply isn’t possible.
Agriculture is necessary for food production, and therefore for life, the farmer would have said with firm conviction — and farming the land or raising cattle is not going to unduly harm anything or anyone.
Today, however, such an impossible scenario is precisely what we’re facing. Virtually every growing environmental and health problem can be traced back to modern food production. This includes but is not limited to:
• Food insecurity and malnutrition amid mounting food waste
• Rising obesity and chronic disease rates despite growing health care outlays
• Diminishing fresh water supplies
• Toxic agricultural chemicals polluting air, soil and waterways, thereby threatening the entire food chain from top to bottom
• Disruption of normal climate and rainfall patterns
The good news is there are viable answers to all of these problems that do not merely scratch at the surface, and the answers hinge on the widespread implementation of regenerative agriculture and decentralized food distribution.
It’s easy to forget that at one point, not so long ago, all food was organically grown in a way that supported the ecosystem and environment as a whole. This all changed in the 1940s when the Green Revolution took hold and industrial, chemical-dependent farming techniques quickly spread to become the norm.