A few months ago, I was at an event that asked this question of participants iClicker style (fuck iClicker), “Why is regenerative agriculture important?” It was multiple choice with the following options (from memory):
A. Improve soil health
B. Increase crop quality and productivity
C. Mitigate climate change
D. Increase farm profitability
E. Improve food system resiliency
Let me tell you. LIKE 65% OF ATTENDEES SELECTED A. Y’all. A is the only wrong answer up here. Improved soil health is not an end in itself. Yes, healthy soil is good, sure, whatever. But no human, whether they’re malnourished from poor quality food or no food at all, can eat soil, no matter how healthy it is. We could have healthier soil, and still wipe out life on Earth with climate change. Maybe D is the Slytherin answer, but listen, if I’m a smart farm-business owner, no matter how ethical, climate conscious, and progressive I am, I’m eyeing profitability all day long. And if big swaths of the population starves because our food system lacks the respect for nature, biodiversity, human diversity, equity, and redundancy that good regen systems can embody, the health of the soil will be cold comfort as we bury our dead beneath it.
A Pandemic of Apathy - by Sarah Mock - Big Team Farms by sarahmock.substack.com