2015-10-24 / Viewpoints

Down-to-earth solutions

BY KATHLEEN PAUL

(Kathleen Paul represents Regeneration International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a global network of farmers, scientists, businesses, activists, educators, journalists, governments and consumers dedicated to regenerative agriculture and land-use practices. Details are available at regenerationinternational.org.)

You may have heard about last week’s press conference at the

National Press Club, titled “The Future of Food: From Degeneration to Regeneration.”

A panel of 10 international experts on organic agriculture, carbon sequestration and world hunger spoke to the capacity of organic regenerative agriculture to draw excess carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in soil.

They discussed how regenerative agriculture provides livelihoods for farmers, revitalizes local economies, and produces abundant food for populations most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.

Knowledgeable speakers called for changes in a collective commitment to make a transition from an industrial agriculture model which has killed 300,000 Indian farmers, contributed 40 percent of greenhouse gases leading to climate change, and created hunger, poverty and disease.

Regenerative organic food, farming and land use, scaled up globally on billions of acres of farmland, grassland and forests, can feed the world and reverse global warming and deteriorating public health.

An international alliance of small farmers, ranchers and indigenous communities, allied with conscious consumers, can literally cool the planet, restore soil health and biodiversity, and move us away from climate catastrophe and societal degeneration.

We face two interlinked planetary challenges: to produce enough food for all people and to sequester enough carbon in the soil to reverse climate change.

There is one solution for those challenges: regenerative organic agriculture. We can no longer afford to rely on chemical farming. The use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides has destroyed soils worldwide and rendered them unable to rebuild soil organic matter. It is now time for people and all governments to embrace the regenerative solution.

Around the world, soil is the common currency and the only hope we have to rebuild our local economies, restore dignity and social structures while reversing climate change.

Simply, if our soil contains the nutrients our bodies need for better health, so too can our food. Investing in our soil is the best health investment we must all make.

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