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Regenerative Agriculture - Consumer Choices

Today, more institutions, corporations, and growers are becoming interested in regenerative agriculture. It is important for consumers to be properly informed regarding the purchases they make. Every purchase made is an agricultural, social and political act that directly affects people, ecosystems and economies around the world. As the demand for regenerative and environmentally-friendly products increase, consumers have an even greater opportunity to provide safe and nutrient-rich foods and sustainably sourced fiber for themselves and their loved ones while making a positive impact in the world.

One of the best ways to become more involved in the food system is to support local farmers. It is important to be familiar with the principles of regenerative farming, and directly ask the farmers at the farmer’s market if they are using regenerative practices. If they are not using regenerative practices, sharing the knowledge with them may inspire them to consider starting these practices. Supporting local regenerative farmers is also a great way to help protect and conserve local landscapes in the region from conventional farming and commercial development.

The current food system in the United States is beginning to offer incentives and funding for small farmers to farm regeneratively, and showing support to these farmers by buying their products makes a large impact on the local farming community. Some questions to consider include:

  • Did the farming and production of this product improve ecological systems and soil health throughout its lifetime?

  • For vegetables and grains: Did the farmer use regenerative agriculture practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, compost, and no-till?

  • For meat, dairy and eggs: Did the farmer use holistic management or rotational grazing to improve soil health and keep animals healthy and happy?

  • Did the farming practices help sequester and preserve carbon in the soil?

  • Were farm and processing workers paid a fair wage?

The link below from Regeneration International offers an interactive map of Regenerative Farms:

The global apparel industry is the second-largest industrial polluter. From the growing of GMO cotton, to the production of wool and synthetic fibers, to the dyes used on those fibers, to the factories where clothes are assembled—each step of the way, soil is degraded, water is polluted, laborers are exploited.

In addition to regeneratively produced food, demand for regeneratively produced fibers is beginning to gain traction.

Some examples of regenerative textiles include hemp, linen, organic cotton, and climate-beneficial wool. Making informed purchases of regenerative fiber products is a way to support the regenerative textile movement and increase awareness and demand for these products.

Consumers have the capacity to create significant change in the food system and climate crisis by the way they choose to spend money and the companies they choose to support. Consumers can support regenerative agriculture by making informed decisions on the foods and fiber they purchase, and the demand can be shifted towards products made with regenerative practices.

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