We’re each living through (and inadvertently participating in) one of the biggest mass extinction periods the Earth has ever seen, as explained in the World Scientists Warning to Humanity.
No one wants this. It’s overwhelming to even think about.
Mass extinction is something our minds literally can’t comprehend, and so we ignore it, move on with our lives, hope someone else is working on the mounting problems, and we go about our day to day activities.
It’s hard to know what to do, so most people tend to do nothing.
But rather than just sitting back and hoping someone else solves this mounting problem, it’s important we all start taking action.
From my research and studies, I’ve identified 2 simple things that each of us can do to help to bring about real change.
Before we dive into the solution, let’s take a look at the challenge.
The Biggest Threat
Do you know what one of the biggest threats to natural ecosystems, native plants, animals and biodiversity is?
Shockingly, it’s not gas guzzling vehicles, blatant commercial over-consumption or even inefficient and out of balance city-spaces. These things are certainly problematic for natural ecosystems and play their role…
According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services:
And no: We’re not just talking about meat here, nor is this a post about “going vegan” … This isn’t about blaming animal products for all our problems.
Obviously, mass-scale and inhumane animal agricultural and commercial fishing practices are a big part of the problem.
But really it’s the entire paradigm for where our food comes from.
Petrochemical farming, mono-culture mega farms and even most industrialized organic farming practices are out of balance.
Humanity is drastically living out of balance with Mother Nature in a way that cannot be sustained.
Agriculture practices are one of the biggest threats to ecosystems because they’re destroying habitat and stripping soil of its nutritional value.
Soil health is unbelievably important. Did you know that most food today has become less nutritious than crops grown a couple of decades ago?
Soil depletion is also negatively contributing to climate change. For more about on soil health, check out the Kiss the Ground Documentary on Netflix.
I know, there are so many documentaries out there that clearly outline the mounting challenges of the day, but they rarely share actionable steps we can take to be the change. They can be a bit depressing.
So let’s talk about the solution!
What can we do?
As consumers reliant on an industrialized food system we need to choose a new way forward, which might require looking back in time.
Did you know that in 1945, people in America grew 45% of their own food sustainably right in their backyard gardens? Today… Less than 0.1% of food is grown in this way.
A great place to begin is right in your back yard.
Start by stepping up your gardening efforts at home. If you don’t yet have a garden, take a step to start a small garden project in your yard or on your balcony this year!
Even growing one tomato plant or a salad bowl of lettuces is a start.
I just got back into gardening 2 years ago, and it’s honestly one of the most rewarding, fulfilling, magical, healing, and delicious hobbies there is.
Check out Gaia’s Garden for ideas and inspiration.
As Geoff Lawton, a renowned permaculture consultant, designer and teacher so eloquently stated: “All the World’s Problems Can Be Solved in a Garden.”
Despite my newly rekindled love for gardening, composting and building permaculture food-systems… I’m still years away from growing even 45% of my own food.
What else can we do today?
Changing where we buy our food from is an immediate step each one of us can take.
While so much of the food system is fatally flawed, and even most organic growers are growing nutritionally depleted vegetables, there are solutions emerging.
Farms that improve soil health, regenerate the land and increase biodiversity while growing healthy foods for market already exist.
This means we can choose to support innovative farmers focusing on building soil health and purchase from the brands who are leading us forward into a new regenerative agriculture.
Look for companies, farms, restaurants and brands who are using Regenerative Agriculture practices.
Shop at your local farmers market and talk to the vendors to learn who is taking steps to grow in a way that is regenerative to soil health and helping promote biodiversity rather than depleting it.
What Is Regenerative Agriculture?
From Wikipedia: “Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting bio-sequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil”
Regenerative Agriculture refers to the holistic and sustainable farming practices that are leading by example and showing a way to live in greater harmony with Mother Nature.
Regenerative Agriculture is not only about doing less harm, but it’s also about leveraging practices to grow food in a way that the land is improved, rather than depleted and stripped.
With how we’ve treated the planet, sustainability isn’t enough, we now need to regenerate soil health and support natural ecosystems.
Regenerative farming practices not only produce nutrient dense food, they also remove carbon from the atmosphere, while cultivating healthy eco-systems that will flourish long beyond the life of the farm.
Inspired to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about Regenerative Agriculture you can learn more here.
To learn more about the connection between soil health and climate change check out the Documentary Kiss the Ground (On Netflix).
Another great documentary to check out is by Farmers Footprint, one of the leading nonprofits helping commercial farmers transition to regenerative agriculture practices.
I really like what Farmers Footprint is doing and choose to donate monthly.
Here’s something you can do today:
The Power of Buying Regenerative Agriculture Products
Buying from Regenerative Agriculture farmers and brands first, is a powerful step that we can each take today.
Here on planet Earth, we vote for what we want to see more of with where we spend our money.
It’s easy to be fooled by clever branding and to unknowingly buy products that seem healthy and sustainable when they really aren’t.
“All Natural” for example doesn’t mean a product is free from toxic pesticides or even synthetic additives. Its clever marketing that sounds great but means nothing.
By paying attention to the actual practices of companies, we can begin to make smarter buying decisions that support the farmers who are doing the right thing.
When we each start flowing more of our purchasing power towards brands, farms, and people that are leveraging sustainable and regenerative practices, it can have an enormous impact.
Here’s how this works:
When we choose to spend our money on regenerative and sustainable products, we’re also empowering these brands and farmers to scale their businesses.
This helps “prove the regenerative model” to non-sustainable and chemical farmers, showing that there’s a better and even a more profitable way forward by transitioning to regenerative agriculture.
This isn’t theory, it’s already happening now.
As shared on Regenerational International, there are already positive examples of struggling farmers transforming their land and profitability by embracing regenerative practices.
Stoney Creek Farm is one of these success stories:
“By implementing regenerative agricultural principles on our farm, we’ve improved our bottom line by reducing input costs, including chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, and seed. Our operation now includes additional species of livestock and a meat sales enterprise … We hope to add pasture-raised chickens by next year,” – Dawn Breitkreutz
Where Can You Buy Regenerative Agriculture Products Today?
When you start looking for companies, products, brands and people that are utilizing regenerative practices, you’ll find there are some great options to support! Many small scale regenerative farmers sell locally, on Etsy, or from their own websites.
“People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.” – Harper Lee
10 Regenerative Agriculture Brands I Love
Here’s some of the Regenerative Agriculture Brands I love to buy from online:
Patagonia has been a leader in sustainable clothing and environmentally friendly business practices for years. Did you know they’re now in the food business too?
Patagonia Provisions is their in house lineup of edible Regenerative Agriculture products.
They’ve also created a marketplace filled with additional Regenerative Agriculture brands offering flavorful and nutritious alternatives to industrialized agriculture products.
Why? As they say on their site: “We’re in business to save our home planet.”
Patagonia Provisions offers a range of products including sustainable and regenerative seafood (I really like their salmon and mussels).
They also have delicious breadfruit crackers, solar dehydrated chili mango, fruit and nut bars, bison jerky, spices, grains, seeds, quick prep food that’s great for camping, and more. All regenerative!
Plus, in their growing Regenerative Agriculture marketplace, you can find all sorts of incredible regenerative food options ranging from Kelp Pickles (seriously amazing) to organic regenerative popcorn, solar dried fruit, nuts, ancient grain pasta, and more.
Check Out The Marketplace Here >
Wild Idea Buffalo
Wild Idea Buffalo is a regenerative ranching company that’s working to regenerate the prairie grasslands of the Great Plains by bringing back the bison.
As their founder Dan O’Brien shares: “By returning the bison to their native homeland, we’re not only rewilding a threatened ecosystem, we are keeping prairies intact, with carbon stored safely underground, and producing the healthiest red meat on the planet.”
If you eat meat, definitely check them out for a delicious, healthy, 100% grass-fed meat that is supporting a healthier planet, bringing the plains prairie back to health and offering a viable solution for a sustainable food supply and a sustainable ecosystem for all life.
This is the only red meat I’ve introduced back into my diet after being vegan for years. With their mission, humane field harvest practices, and ecosystem regeneration efforts, its changed the way I think about including meat in my diet.
Learn More About Wild Idea Buffalo Company Here >
Sol Spring is a Biodynamic brand by Dr Mercola selling products sourced and produced from a small European, Demeter Certified Biodynamic® farm.
As shared on Sol Springs site: “Biodynamic farming is the ecological-ethical-spiritual approach to agriculture, viewing the farm as a living organism — self-contained, self-sustaining and following the cycles of nature while healing our planet in the process.”
Sol Spring offers delicious tomato sauces, tapanads, vinegar, coconut oil, coffee, olives and more.
Learn More About Sol Spring Here >
Barnacle Foods makes the incredible Kelp Pickles you can find in the Patagonia Marketplace. They also sell salsa, hot sauce, and seasonings all made from either sustainably harvested or regeneratively grown Alaskan Bull Kelp from their website.
Bull Kelp is, yes, a type of seaweed that abundantly grows wild off the Alaskan Coast. In addition to careful wild harvesting, Barnacle is partnering with Alaskan farmers to cultivate Kelp. Kelp is a really promising crop for wild-scale adoption because it requires no arable land, fresh water, or fertilizers to grow.
Learn More About Barnacle Foods Here >
Sol Simple is one of the first companies in the world to receive the Regenerative Organic Certification for fruit.
They sell fair trade, organic and regeneratively grown Bananas, Mango, and Pineapple that’s solar dehydrated, and sourced from small farmers with no market access in countries like Nicaragua.
Their dried pineapple is amazing!
I love that it has nothing added to it, so its got a sweet tart sort of thing going on, its real pineapple with the true taste of the tropics (minus the humidity).
Another cool thing Sol Simple does is introduce the small farmers on the bags of dried fruit. I love knowing that the dried pineapple I just ate was grown by Adilio Alerto Mercasa in Nicaragua.
You can find Sol Simple on Patagonia Provisions, or learn more about their products and initiatives here! >>
Numi is a Fair Trade and Organic Tea Company that’s leading by example, showing how a company can operate profitably and sustainably, while creating a positive impact for the planet and humanity as well.
You can find Numi in most grocery stores that offer organic products. They’re also on Patagonia’s Marketplace, or you can purchase online … try their Wander With Purpose Gift Set for a variety tour and glimpse into the lives of the people who grow and make the tea.
I love that they are helping monoculture cacao farmers transition to regenerative agroforestry. They are also doing incredible work replanting and conserving rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon.
Organic India offers delicious teas, herbal products, supplements, psyllium powder, and much more!
Their Tulsi Tea is one of my favorites!
Through their network of farmers and wildcrafters they are actively working to reverse environmental degridation through regenerative practices on thousands of acres.
Diestel is a family owned Turkey Ranch committed to raising Turkeys in a sustainable and regenerative way, according to strict animal welfare and environmental standards.
They share on their site that: “We’re committed to regenerative agriculture, holistic farming practices that reverse the negative effects of farming by helping to rebuild the soil and restore biodiversity.”
White Leaf Provisions
I haven’t actually purchased White Leaf Provisions products myself, but if you’re a mom, or soon-to-be mom this is a brand you definitely need to know about!
White Leaf Provisions offers baby food made from ingredients that are not only certified Organic and GMO-Free but are also regeneratively farmed and Biodynamic.
White Leaf Provisions is a family run business that’s committed to showing how working with nature can bring about the purest foods (exactly what you’d want to be feeding to a baby) while also healing the earth.
Learn more about their Baby Food and Biodynamic Regenerative Practices here >
Where to Go From Here:
This is certainly not an all encompassing list of Regenerative Agriculture options and I’m still researching, looking and listening, to find new sources for food and products that embrace regenerative practices too.
Talk to people in your local community, see if you can find a regenerative CSA, farmer or Permaculture Orchard to support locally.
Also, if you have brands or products you know of that practice Regenerative Agriculture join the conversation and comment below to share your favorites.
We’re all in this together, and together, we really can create the positive change we want to see in the world!
It feels good to support regenerative agriculture knowing my money is flowing towards the positive solution.
Some of these products have become my new favorites too. Nutrient dense and delicious is certainly a winning combination in my book.
I hope this has been helpful for you and I look forward to connecting with you in the comments below.
I’m now celebrating finishing this article with a dried slice of Sol Simple Pineapple. So good!