Kutztown, PA—A new white paper released by Rodale Institute and The Plantrician Project outlines the ways in which the American food system has contributed to epidemic levels of chronic disease and lowered immune systems, according to a press release. The solution put forth in the white paper: regenerative organic agriculture.

“The Power of the Plate: The Case for Regenerative Organic Agriculture in Improving Human Health” compiles historical data and comprehensive health, nutrition, and agriculture research from around the world, the press release says. It presents a holistic analysis of the global food system, and recommends ways in which agriculture and lifestyle medicine can work together to improve quality of life. It contains contributions from farmers, scientists, and medical doctors.

The full paper can be downloaded forfree here.

Key findings noted in the press release:
  • Over the last 50 years, quality of life has decreased while lifestyle diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases have increased rapidly, due in large part to diet.
  • The Standard American Diet derives more than half of total calories from highly processed foods and only 11% of calories from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts.
  • U.S. agriculture grows fruits, vegetables, and nuts on just 3% of cropland, and our crops have continued to lose nutrient density, leading to health issues and lifestyle diseases.
  • In addition to lacking nutrition, industrial farming directly and indirectly affects human health via exposure to potentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals and through environmental pollutants.
  • The key to improving human health lies in both what we eat and how it was produced and requires shifting to a regenerative health model that incorporates regenerative organic agriculture and nutrition into all levels of our food and medical systems.
The white paper makes nine specific recommendations for the integration of food and healthcare and the expansion of regenerative health.
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Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute CEO, said in the release: “Our research has proven that a regenerative organic system cannot only feed the world, but feed it better quality food. This white paper gives us the opportunity to lay out in detail the ways in which our food system has a direct impact on our health, and how what we put on our plate—and the way it is produced—dramatically affects our health and our society.”

Dr. Scott Stoll, Co-Founder of The Plantrician Project, added: “Proper nutrition is the foundation of health. As a physician, I see an incredible number of patients with preventable, and reversible, lifestyle-related diseases. A critical component of healthcare is the production of healing foods and it is essential that we develop relationships with our local farming communities to improve the food ecosystem—making healthy, nutrient-dense foods easily accessible and affordable.”

Rodale and The Plantrician Project are hosting a free virtual panel on June 2, from 2-3pm EST, to discuss the findings. Pre-registration is required. Learn more and register here.