It's time to get back to the roots of farming to save the planet.
"Organic" is just another word for "expensive." It's a joke bandied about in supermarkets, illustrating that people are widely unaware of the connection between the contents of their carts and its impact on the health of our bodies and the planet.
"I would say that [organic farming is] a 100-percent solution to the health problem, to the unemployment problem, the poverty problem, the biodiversity problem, and the water problem," says Vandana Shiva, PhD, founder of The Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy. She was one of several speakers to discuss regenerative organic agriculture at an expert panel event hosted by the Rodale Institute, the Carbon Underground, and Organic Consumers Association.
But the benefits go way beyond these comparably "small" issues because organic farming is also the solution to our carbon problem. According to the Rodale Institute, the answer to the looming climate catastrophe is right under our feet: soil. The researchers found that, through regenerative organic agriculture, the soil will be able to sequester carbon in a way that not just limits, but also reverses, the threatening levels of atmospheric CO2.
Kristine Nichols, PhD, chief scientist at the Rodale Institute, explained that if we shift to a regenerative organic model of agriculture, 40 percent of the total annual carbon emissions will be taken out of the atmosphere and stored in the soil. (That's an estimated reduction of 21 gigatons of CO2 every year, or equal to about 4.25 billon cars off of the road). Additionally, the Rodale Institute found that this organic model would apply to pasture and rangelands, too, sequestering another 71 percent of annual carbon emissions.
"This is tipping that needle past 100 percent that we're going to be able to sequester more carbon in the soil than the emissions that we have on an annual basis," she says. The positive conclusion? She and other experts say this will reverse climate change.