Why am I passionate about Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative Farming provides the healthiest nutrient dense food and the most powerful way I know to support our planet and reverse climate change.
This is completely in line with being an Integrative Functional Medicine Doctor who is committed to supporting people to have optimal health and well-being and is also a concerned member of the community and our planet. Ultimately, our health is dependent on a healthy planet!
There is an abundance of evidence leading to the conclusion that regenerative farming practices are better for the environment including plants, wildlife and the planet. Eating food that is regeneratively raised also nourishes our bodies in more beneficial ways than we initially thought.
In the last decade, the importance of our microbiome has become so clear. There are amazing parallels between our microbiome with its beneficial microorganisms and a healthy soil microbiome with its fungi, bacteria and protozoa.
Healthy soil is also a sponge for water, reducing the loss of topsoil, erosion and being susceptible to drought. Healthy soil also gives plants additional nutrients and added strength through various compounds that helps them resist pathogens. This leads to not needing the fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that pollute our air, plants and water supplies.
Healthy soil also sequesters carbon from the atmosphere which reduces greenhouse gases.
When we steward nature in this way, we support our planet and ourselves.
Learn more about Regenerative Agriculture here.
So, what is the difference between Organic, Sustainable and Regenerative?
Organic is certainly a step in the right direction. Plants can be grown using safer chemicals and therefore be safer and more nourishing for us to eat. At the same time, the larger organic farms still use conventional farming practices like tilling of the soil and leaving it bare which leads to the need for more water and more fertilizers.
Sustainable practices are also an improvement over conventional because the goal is to sustain the land and keep it from getting worse.
Regenerative practices used in regenerative farming have the goal to regenerate the soil and make it fertile and a rich source of nutrients, and have the ability to sequester carbon and soak up lots of water!
Why not get all these benefits and have the plants and animals that grow out of this process be also healthier with many natural benefits we are still learning about?
What can we do to support Regenerative Agriculture?
First, support local farms that have regenerative practices, thus supporting the local economy and environment which is also an added important benefit. Also buy prepared products that utilize produce and animal products sourced from regenerative farms. Please visit our Community Resource Page for Local Farm listings. Also check to see if there are organizations that support regenerative agriculture in your local community. Here in Bucks County, there is the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance which you can get involved with, support and use as a resource.
There now is actually a new Regenerative Organic Certification for food, textiles, and personal care ingredients. ROC farms and products have to meet the highest standards for soil health, animal welfare and social fairness.
In Functional Medicine leader’s Mark Hyman’s latest book “The Food Fix,” he discusses the link between chronic disease and our current food system. Those interested in learning more can visit the website Food Fix Campaign for what each of us can do to help “fix the food system” and support the health of our nation and our planet.
The following organizations support regenerative farming and create awareness regarding degenerative practices. Some take donations, most provide education and some focus on policy.
Information on the benefits of organic.
Sustainable living through local food appreciation.
Growing the regenerative organic movement through research, farmer training, and consumer education.
ROC farms and products meet the highest standards in the world for soil health, animal welfare, and farmworker fairness.
Kiss the Ground
Provides Soil Advocacy Training, resources for farmers and builds political will for the regenerative agriculture movement.
The Meatrix website offers information on the issues surrounding factory farming.
Community Food Security Coalition envisions strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems.
Carversville Farm Foundation
A non-profit that grows organic fresh food specifically for donation to local communities in need. They also train future farmers through their apprentice program and sell 10% of their harvest.
We are blessed in Bucks County and the surrounding areas to have farms that use regenerative practices. Please visit our Community Resources page to learn more about farms you can support in our area.
Dr. Bernstein is committed to people’s health and well-being and to the health of our planet.