QA Webinar The Regenerative Agriculture and Human Health Nexus: Insights from Field to Body

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On November 15th, 2021 we run a QA Webinar with Mandy Ellerton and David LeZaks of Croatan Institute, hosted by Koen van Seijen. A deep dive in their new paper “Regenerative Agriculture and Human Health Nexus: Insights from Field to Body” that explores the evidence connecting agriculture practices to human health outcomes.


Many topics were discussed during the webinar.

Links for follow up:

For a deeper dive into nutrient density, please visit the Bionutrient Food Association (suggested by Eric Jackson)

Just Economy Institute suggested by Mandy Ellerton

Diane Evers ask about peer reviewed research on the nutrition in regeneratively farmed food. Definitely check the citations of the white paper!

Bryan Sobel asked “Regenerative agriculture is poorly defined. What does investing in it look like? Are you investing in practices? impacts?” Koen answered “Investing in farms, food companies, technologies which are either building soil directly or indirectly”.

Medical center for more on holistic thinking about connections between food and health suggested by Lydia Lazar.

Bookstore at AcresUSA for the latest on how to build soil health suggested by Lydia Lazar.

Chemicals
Annemarie Giordano asked a question about chemical use with practises like no till.
Jos Lemmens: I would say to Anne Marie, those practices that improve soil the most are the best. Everything starts with a healthy soil. Labels like “organic” don’t mean much.
Diane Evers: Use cover crops and plant into the cover crop. Also, bring animals in. Chemical only needs to be used if the weeds are significant. Also, think of the weeds as possibly adding something back to the soil. Diversity is useful.
Jessica Chiartas: And or higher phytonutrients, flavonoids, etc.?

Inputs
Diane Evers: Lower cost of inputs – them, synthetic fertilisers. Microbes should only have to be added once if they are kept alive from year to year.
Jessica Chiartas: Hard to add microbes — many are dead on arrival and if not, still have to change the environment if they are going to survive.

Scale of farms
Shivani Tambi: Do you think this kind of farming and soil health is possible on an industrial farming scale? Would highly prefer only small and mid sized farms, but I know living in the US that subsidies, etc. are still focused on industrial farms.
Koen van Seijen: There are different examples of practises are done at large scale in Australia, USA etc.
Glenn Boyd: I think organics in the US has been diluted by regulatory authorities (USDA) there.  Large industrial conventional units are now coming under the label of organic.  This is also happening to the grass-fed and free range poultry sectors.

Other quotes from the webinar

“Farmers are at the forefront of the innovation in this movement. What we need more of is a better safety net for farmers who are working to improve the environmental and health outcomes of our food system”. (David LeZaks)

“Farmers find it very difficult to make the investments to switch to regenerative. It takes too much time, and initial lower returns. They need a better way of financing this investment”. (Jos Lemmens)

“Crop genetics plays a role as well. When crops are bred to withstand chemistry, they aren’t bred to improve nutrition. So part of the regenerative continuum is to be careful about the varieties of any crop”. (Eric Jackson)

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Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.

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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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