As our experts share, the clock is ticking. Brian Zapp of Applied Food Sciences stresses that in less than 50 years, we will no longer have enough healthy soil to grow the crops needed for human beings to feed themselves. KAMUT International’s Bob Quinn, author of Grain by Grain, notes that the cost to American households for food has declined 60% since 1941—and in the same period, health care has increased by 60%. “We’ve succeeded in making food cheap and plentiful, but not nutritious, and the loss of our health is perhaps the highest cost of cheap food,” he laments. “There’s a lot of profit in cheap food and expensive health care for the giant ag chemical producers and for big Pharma.”• The world has 60 (or fewer) harvests left • Food today delivers 50-60% of the nutrient levels of a few generations past • 80% of consumers in a survey from ReGenFriends said they want regenerative solutionsRead about the efforts the industry is making—and how everyone from farmers to suppliers to manufacturers to retailers can make the changes that quite literally save the Earth. One shining example: The Carbon Underground, the Regenerative Agriculture Center at Cal State/Chico, MegaFood, Danone, Ben & Jerry’s/Unilever, Green America, and more came together to create a consensus standard for regenerative agriculture, called the Soil Carbon Initiative (SCI). Working with NSF, this group created a standard based on outcomes, shares The Carbon Underground’s Thomas M. Newmark. “We didn’t want to mandate practices or regulatory regimes, believing that we should encourage experimentation and respect the deep personal knowledge that farmers worldwide have of their ecosystems. Rather than telling two-billion plus smallholder farmers that each of them has to follow specific practices, we decided to listen, learn, and offer support as those farmers sought to achieve desirable outcomes. Those outcomes can be very simply stated: more carbon underground in the form of increasing levels of soil organic matter and more biodiversity above and below ground.” Newmark said the hope and expectation is that the standard will be formally launched in 2020.
As MegaFood’s Bethany Davis says, it is not all “doom and gloom.” Change is already happening, and we as an industry will make a difference—we must.
Maggie Jaqua Editor-in-Chief