- The earth is on literal fire as global warming takes hold and its consequences make themselves clearer each day.
- Ethical brands are turning to regenerative farming for its many benefits, including its reduction on the toll of global warming.
- So what is regenerative farming and how can you ensure that your money is funding ethical practices and the future health of the world?
While global warming ravages the earth and world hunger continues to take its toll on the overall population, farmers everywhere have been looking for ways to improve their farming practices. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, “One U.S. farm feeds 166 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. The global population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion by 2050, which means the world’s farmers will have to grow about 70% more food than what is now produced.” But there is only so much land and so many farmers to fulfill the impending needs on the horizon.
Enter: regenerative farming. With the help of science, regenerative farming exists to help take advantage of the function of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle. This holistic approach is enriching our food and our environment in ways that remind us of the power in following the path of natural cycles and resources. So, what is it about regenerative farming that makes the practice so integral to the future of mankind?
Regenerative farming aids in soil health and crop resilience.
A practice once hailed as necessary in farming, tilling primarily aids in ensuring even soil surface levels. This often streamlines the picking process down the line. Tilling also historically helps to reduce dirt clod size to allow oxygen to flow through to crops, removes unwanted pests, integrates fertilizer, and controls the growth of weeds. Regenerative farmers specifically focus on practices that reduce the amount of tilling necessary to maintain and harvest crops. So, why would the farming of the future reduce the amount of tilling they do?
Gone are the days that tilling was done by hand. Many landowners have come to rely on heavy machinery to till the land, or overturn the soil. The pressure alone by the machinery might reduce crop yields depending on the environment. This method also degrades the health of soil over time. According to a 2015 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations brought to light a startling statistic: that a third of land used for food production has been lost to diminished soil over the last 40 years. In fact, some scientists have indicated that soil destruction is happening at a rate that could severely damage public health within the next 50 years. With increased need for food due to poverty, this simply won’t do.
Regenerative farming increases nutrient density naturally.
Much of the research surrounding modern farming has indicated that the nutrient density of our food isn’t what it once was. One of the most noted studies – done by the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas in Austin – identified that the nutritional value of some crops had decreased by up to 38% in a span of 50 years. That groundbreaking study was completed 22 years ago, which makes this issue compounded for today’s farmers. More recent studies are beginning to identify the core issue, which is the disruption that farming practices have caused to the environment over time. The way tilling has proven to be destructive to soil and our reliance on chemicals for food production are at the heart of this issue.
According to soil scientist Christine Jones in an article published by California State University at Chico, “In biologically healthy conditions, 85 to 90 percent of plant nutrient acquisition is mediated by microbes.” Pesticides actively prevent microbes from doing this incredibly important job. It’s no wonder that people aren’t getting the nutrients they need from what would otherwise be considered a healthy and well-rounded diet.
Regenerative farming decreases our past reliance on chemicals and pesticides.
One of the critical benefits of regenerative farming is the effort to make chemicals, pesticides, and additional unethical practices a thing of the past. A 2016 study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health concluded that a regenerative farming approach actually increased the ecosystem for crops and profitability for farmers than the otherwise regularly utilized setup. In fact, the study found that pests were more of an issue in insecticide-treated fields than those that utilized regenerative practices.
Public health has declined because of industrial agriculture practices, which are responsible for increased allergies and bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which could aggravate public health risk with infectious disease on the rise. Not to mention the respiratory issues, workplace injuries, and additional disease risk that come from being a farm laborer. When your crops harbor more than ten times the amount of pests using pesticides than they do without, it paints a clear picture that our reliance on these harsh chemicals – that wreak absolute havoc on the human body – is not justified.
Regenerative farming actively fights and reduces the effects of climate change.
The world is burning. You cannot turn on the news or open up any media source without seeing devastating wildfires, sky-rocketing temperatures, out-of-season hurricanes, and volatile weather patterns. And that’s just the beginning of it. Big change needs to be made, and quickly. That’s why we work with sustainable brands that believe in the power of more ethical farming.
Regenerative agriculture closes off carbon in the soil, which helps to decrease carbon emissions. With this process, farmers are not relying on harsh chemicals and pesticides to produce a higher yield, so chemical runoff and additional damage these man-made products are doing to the environment decreases significantly by employing this practice. When a farm employs more sustainable practices such as this, they do not run the risk of harming local drinking water or damaging regional plants and environmental positives with runoff and spillage. Additionally, animal protein is processed with higher emissions than plant-based practices, so at the end of the day, a plant-forward diet also helps to reduce the terrifying impact animal processing has on the earth.
That is why we focus on presenting brands that are not only produced ethically, but their materials are sourced by and with diverse vendors that employ organic and/or regenerative farming practices. Here are several brands we actively promote based on their formulation and production practices (and may earn a small commission on if you buy from them using our links or code):
PRIMA is leading the pack as the first Hemp CBD brand to earn high quality environmental verification by the Environmental Working Group. PRIMA has world-leading standards, and has banned over 2,800 harmful or harsh ingredients from production. No known carcinogens, neurotoxins, developmental or reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, or ingredients that otherwise damage humans or the environment are employed in the production process. They source their ingredients from sustainable, single origin family farms in Oregon that utilize regenerative farming practices. The company uses highly sustainable packaging – with 85% of it being recyclable – and is 100% carbon neutral. When you order from PRIMA you can save 20% on your order with promo code SWELL at checkout.
ZEGO Foods is a woman-owned company that is working to bring healthy, ethically-sourced, organic foods to the table. Every item is purity verified with traceable testing for glyphosate and over 400 chemicals. Products that have a history of heavy metal problems – like chocolate and protein powder – are routinely tested. Their products are plant-based, allergy friendly, non-GMO, and USDA-certified organic. Try the Zēgo Foods Breakfast Bundle to start your day on the right foot! Visit our store to access ZEGO products.
Youveda Healthy Mind
Youveda produces ayurvedic and vegan supplements and essential oils. Their products help the user to maintain a healthy mind and body through wild-harvested, doctor-formulated, and third party tested materials. All of their essential oils are 100% therapeutic grade, and – along with their supplement kits – are both vegan and cruelty-free, wild harvested, and picked specifically from their native regions. This ensures that the ingredients are not being cross-contaminated or harming any existing vegetation in non-native areas. Visit YouVeda and use promo code SWELL to save 35% on your first purchase.
Ora Organic was developed out of a love for quality nutrition, ethical sourcing, and helping others be well. Ora also actively seeks out ways for the business and employees to positively impact the welfare of people, animals, and our shared environment. Visit Ora Organic and use promo code SWELL to save 10%.
At the end of the day, adjusting to purchasing organic items might not be the only necessary step to protect your family against the cruelties of the modern agricultural industry. The more the general public chooses to work with sustainable farms and optimized methods of agriculture, the more benefits will come to the surface. With more knowledge comes greater responsibility, and sourcing from places that employ these practices is a simple and meaningful step in the right direction.