Breanne Gibson, MSc., DHN, ROHP, RNCP
Today we have the opportunity to restore and transform the health of our children, each other and the planet by simply connecting to what is beneath our feet.
Since the end of WWII and the start of the Industrial Revolution, also known as the “Green” Revolution, conventional farming practices have been destroying and degrading the quality and health of the very soil that nourishes the plants, species and us.
Consequently, today we are faced with a soil crisis from the extensive use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and over-tilling in conventional farming practices. These practices disrupt and kill the living microorganisms in the soil, who feed the plant the nutrients it requires to be healthy and has lead to food being grown in chemically-laden dirt - dead, infertile soil.
Dirt is the opposite of soil as it does not contain the soil microorganisms or soil structure to be able to grow nutrient-dense food. Crops that are grown in dirt must depend on synthetic fertilizers to grow and survive. Unfortunately, crops are grown with synthetic fertilizers typically only receive nitrogen as their primary nutrient and are not receiving all the other vitamins and minerals to be fully healthy.
Over the past century, the nutrients, the vitamins and minerals, that use to be present in food have decreased up to 80% resulting in a modern-day food system low to void of the nutrition designed to nourish plants, animals and humans.
Conventional Agriculture and Climate Change
There has also been a steady increase of global temperature over the past decade. Greenhouse gas emissions have been rising consistently and we are now experiencing the highest concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 650,000 years.
Did you know that at least 15% of the global greenhouse gas emissions come from conventional farming?
Deforestation: changing the way sunlight’s energy can be absorbed and utilized
- Tilling and plowing: releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
- Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers: releasing nitrous oxide into the atmosphere
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs): releasing methane into the atmosphere from large piles of unmanaged waste and from animals living in unnatural habitats
Conventional agriculture is working against nature and is negatively impacting environmental and human health.
Fortunately, there is a type of farming that chooses to work with nature and restore soil health and has the power to transform our food system, human health and climate.
Working with Nature to Heal the Planet
“Transform your child’s health by supporting regenerative organic food grown in healthy, living soil.” Breanne Gibson
Regenerative Organic Agriculture
Regenerative organic agriculture is about growing food in a way that is working with ecological systems, especially building soil health and is often referred to as carbon farming.
Demeter is the certifying body for Biodynamic farms, food and products with a vision to "heal the planet through agriculture", specifically through regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration.
In biodynamic farming, a farm or garden is an integrated whole living organism with interdependent elements within the system: forests, fields, plants, soils, compost, animals, people, and the energy of the place. The aim of biodynamic farmers and gardeners is to work in a holistic way to support and harmonize all of these elements to create a healthy, fertile and resilient whole system.
"Biodynamic farming does not depend on the mining of the earth’s natural resource base but instead emphasizes contributing to it.” ~Demeter
It is about using regenerative practices, strategies, and techniques on a biodynamic farm, including:
Prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers (similar to organic certification)
- Low tillage, if not no tillage
- Integrates livestock
- Builds compost
- Utilizes cover crops
- Holistically managed animal systems
- Disease and insect control through creating a system containing a diversity of botanical species and predator habitat
- Leguminous cover crops to help fix nitrogen into the soil
- The use of nine Biodynamic preparations made from herbs, mineral substances and animal manures from the farm that are used to enhance soil health and microorganisms, root growth, composting, and photosynthesis.
Regenerative Agriculture: A Climate-Change Solution
Regenerative organic agriculture and biodynamic farming support an extremely powerful climate change solution.
Building and restoring soil by feeding soil microorganisms and growing a diversity of healthy root systems create a biological system that has the ability to sequester carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it beneath our feet where it belongs. In the ground is where carbon works its magic: feeding soil life and building topsoil.
Topsoil is the soil level where food grows and where your baby, child and yourself can receive the wide range of nutrients in the food that you grow or buy.
White Leaf Provisions (WLP) is a company that is supporting the regenerative and biodynamic farming movement being the first business to bring a line of biodynamic baby and toddler foods to market.
So when you support food that was grown regeneratively and brands like WLP, you not only increase your child’s nutrition and health, but also the planet’s.
How Can You Start Supporting Regenerative Food?
Begin to learn about where your food comes from and how it is grown
- Connect with your local farmers and farmer markets and ask what strategies they use on their farm to build soil health and how they recycle the waste on the farm
- Look for the Demeter or regenerative organic food labels
- Grow some of your own real and regenerative food
- Join a community garden or community shared agriculture (CSA)
- Support animal products that were grass-fed and pasture-raised
- Limit your shopping at big box stores
Regenerative farming practices build healthy, living soil —> Healthy, living soil grows nutrient-dense food —> Nutrient-dense food increases the health of our children, each other and the planet.
The End of Food