André Leu, the International Director of Regeneration International. It is an organization that promotes food, farming and land use systems that regenerate and stabilize climate systems, the health of the planet and people, communities, culture and local economies, democracy and peace.
A friend in New York asked a couple days ago what was the difference between industrial agriculture, and regenerative agriculture, I’ll give you guys a quick example: In industrial agriculture, you take a piece of land, and create a vegetable or fruit factory, let’s call it a raspberry factory: you wanna make it as productive and efficient as possible, get the most efficient genetically modified seeds, and use pesticides and industrial fertilizers to achieve your goal of making as much food and as much money as possible.
In regenerative agriculture, instead of creating a food factory, you decide to manage an ecosystem where raspberries will grow. You manage your soil, cover crops, bee population, you encourage bird of prey, use compost, less water, you don’t need pesticides, reduce water consumption, and ultimately, manage the health of the soil, so that it becomes richer every year.
Two very different models of reality and our relationship with food and the planet. Both profitable. One makes the soil and the environment toxic, the other replenishes nutrients, makes the most nourishing food, and helps capture carbon from the atmosphere. It’s ok, we had to make mistakes to relearn, and we’re moving in the right direction.
Every major transition begins with education. So before we can replace policies that subsidize degenerative agricultural practices with policies that support regenerative farming and land-use, before we can create demand for food produced using regenerative methods, we must educate policymakers and consumers. Through their multi-lingual website and social media networks, through consumer campaigns, international conferences they organize and sponsor, RI provides information and resources that highlight the connection between healthy soil, regenerative agriculture and land use, food, health, healthy economies and climate change.