New Chapter has joined a growing agricultural movement and is working to inspire other companies to do the same. Regenerative agriculture goes beyond organic. Regenerative techniques have the power to reverse the worldwide depletion of farmable topsoil and to lower atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. New Chapter supports Regenerative Agriculture because it’s essential for the health of people and the planet.
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
The agricultural sector is one of the largest emitters of CO2 into our atmosphere, responsible for 25% of all human-created CO2 emissions. Combined with methane (CH4), these two harmful greenhouse gases are major contributors to the most significant threat to the human race–climate change.
An effective, science-based solution lies right beneath our feet…in the soil!
Regenerative agriculture is a type of farming system that focuses on improving soil health and biodiversity, increasing watershed capacity, and restoring the ecosystem. Simply, regenerative agriculture is a method of farming that aims to improve resources and quality of life.
At scale, regenerative agriculture is the most effective set of tools to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Farmers counter global accumulation of atmospheric carbon when utilizing regenerative practices like cover cropping, composting, crop rotation, and rotational grazing.
Regenerative organic agriculture builds on these important organic standards by applying farming methods that respond to site-specific conditions. Growers who follow regenerative principles view their land, workers, animals, and waste materials as an interconnected web. In this view, the entire agricultural operation is seen as a single living entity that integrates cultural, biological, and mechanical practices. The practices cycle resources, promote ecological equilibrium, and conserve biodiversity. This regenerative farming strategy helps to heal the soil, repair global insecurity, and reverse climate change.
Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture
The health of our soil is vital for the health of our plants and our food. Soil health is closely linked to overall human health. When implemented at scale, the effects of improving soil health reach beyond healthier plants and people. Farmers naturally maximize yields and improve crop health when using practices focused on soil health. Regenerative organic agriculture maintains those yields over time. Research at the field level bears out regeneratively-maintained land has significantly higher crop yield per acre. Food grown on regenerative organic land delivers a 40-50% improvement in gross margins on some crops and single digit improvements on commodity crops for farmers who have implemented regenerative techniques.
A Safer Climate
Plants naturally draw down CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store that carbon in the soil. But industrial farming practices, like tilling and monoculture, disrupt this system and release the CO2 back into the atmosphere while also depleting the soil. When industrial practices are replaced with regenerative practices, the natural cycle of removing carbon from the air and keeping it in the ground resumes. According to the Rodale Institute, sequestering more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions can be achieved with a switch to regenerative organic agriculture. Soil regeneration practices create healthy, carbon-rich soil full of organic matter that holds water like a sponge.
More Nutritious Food
Regeneratively-farmed ingredients are healthier for Mother Earth and are also more nutritious than conventionally farmed ingredients. Current industrial farming systems have been depleting soil nutrient content and quality for decades. This means that food grown in that soil has fewer vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Experts say we would need to eat as many as 26 apples in 2021 to get the same nutritional value as a single apple grown in 1970. Regenerative techniques can reverse this trend, restoring soil quality and nutrient value to produce food that is more nutrient dense.
Three Pillars of Regenerative Organic Certified
The Regenerative Organic Certified program uses three pillars with the goal of matching, then surpassing other types of certifications.
- Soil Health: Refers to use of regenerative practices like cover crops, crop rotation, and conservation tillage. Builds organic matter and promotes biodiversity with no synthetic inputs or soil-less systems.
- Animal Welfare: Protects the “Five Freedoms” (including freedom from discomfort, pain, and fear), governs the use of the terms “grass-fed” and “pasture-raised,” and restricts the use of concentrated animal feeding operations.
- Social Fairness: Ensures fair payments and living wages for farmers and farmworkers, safe working conditions, capacity building, and democratic organizations.
The Future of Farming
The time for regenerative agriculture is now! The earth is on the brink of irreversible damage to its soil and its atmosphere. The world is seeing the negative effects of climate change and soil depletion.
Read labels and look for regeneratively-farmed ingredients. New Chapter’s Turmeric Force is now produced with regeneratively-farmed supercritical extracts!
Try some of these regenerative techniques in your own garden, too!
Jenna Skopp is the Texas area representative at New Chapter. She loves to share educational information and research to support New Chapter’s methods in delivering clean and effective products. She has spent years in Austin-area health food stores and is grateful to connect with those who are curious. Jenna’s favorite topics to discuss are herbs, mushrooms, and minerals…there’s so much to learn!
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