This Antioxidant May Provide a Key Link Between Regenerative Agriculture and Human Health

Recent studies have found that crops grown with regenerative practices contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Ergothioneine, a ‘longevity vitamin,’ stands out as one of the most important in the bunch.

It’s a question that Laura Stewart has heard many times: “What’s the white stuff?” Stewart and her husband, Ches, sell mushroom-growing kits, and dense networks of hair-like strands—mycelium—shoot through the bags of compressed sawdust and soybean hulls in a matter of days. “You can just watch it run,” said Stewart, co-owner of Haw River Mushrooms in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.

Researchers now believe that those fungal threads play a key role in establishing healthy soils, which then go on to produce crops that contain higher levels of a compound shown to promote health. Demonstrating such a connection between soil, crops, and human health has long been a holy grail of the food and agriculture community.