Regenerative Agriculture: Farming For The Planet

SoulAdvisor | 21 Jun 2021

How food is grown and distributed contributes significantly to our health and the health of our planet. Current agricultural practices are largely unsustainable, causing the future of humanity to become increasingly precarious. However, according to Dr. Mark Hyman, Functional Medicine physician and founder of the Cleveland Clinic Centre for Functional Medicine, there are solutions to this problem that we can implement today.   

Writing for Thrive Global, Mark Hyman addresses this very confronting issue: the health of the planet and the global population is reaching crisis point, and our food system is largely responsible. 

Industrial agriculture is a main driver of greenhouse gas emissions. Factory-farmed cattle produce an astronomical amount of methane, and monoculture grains, such as GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) soy, depend heavily on soil-destroying farming and toxic chemicals such as glyphosate. Industrial agriculture is depleting our soil, polluting our water systems, and poisoning our crops with harmful pesticides and herbicides. 

While Dr. Hyman advocates for a diet that consists of plenty of plants and vegetables, he suggests that simply going ‘plant-based’ is not the solution to our climate crisis.  

Dr. Hyman introduces a farming practice known as regenerative agriculture, which focuses on replenishing the health of the soil. Healthy soil produces more food, retains more water, and sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, trapping it in the ground. As such, this method of farming has the potential to change how we grow our food, restore soil health and reverse climate change.  

According to Hyman, “what you put on your fork is one of the most important decisions you can make for your own health and the health of our planet”. By changing how we shop and how we eat, we can support regenerative agricultural practices and make a lasting impact on our planet. 

Here is Dr. Hyman’s suggestions of what you can do to help. 

  1. Shop locally and buy organic foods where possible. Attend your local farmers’ markets and support local food systems. 

  2. Choose higher-quality meat. If you choose to eat meat, replace factory-farmed with grass-fed options that are produced from regenerative farms. 

  3. Learn more about regenerative agriculture. Spend time educating yourself and your community about regenerative agriculture, and the environmental impact of our food choices.

  4. Avoid GMO foods. Buy non-GMO foods to support good farming practices. 

Dr Hyman urges us all to work together to make agriculture work for every stakeholder involved - producers, consumers, animals and the land that grows everything we eat. 

References

Dr. Mark Hyman | Thrive Global

Cleveland Clinic Centre for Functional Medicine

Growing Food, Growing Climate Change: Why We Need an Agricultural Shift | Thrive Global

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