‘Regenerative agriculture’: World-saving idea or food marketing ploy?

| | March 19, 2019
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

You’re about to start seeing the term “regenerative” when you scan packages of Cheerios and boxed mac and cheese in the grocery aisles. Depending on who you ask, it’s either clever marketing or a fix for climate change in a single stroke. Either way, if you’re looking for the next big foodie buzzword, this is it.

It was clear the term had legs when General Mills recently heralded plans to start using “regenerative” practices on a million acres. “Regenerative agriculture practices are a key way to improve soil health,” said Jerry Lynch, the company’s chief sustainability officer.

So what does regenerative mean?….To some, it’s a way organic and conventional farmers can work together on achieving environmental ends, rather than fighting over the means. To others, it’s a move to make farms sop up carbon. Still others consider it a tactic to attract customers who buy organic, or maybe a quasi-spiritual concept.

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But there’s one definition everyone seems to agree on: Regenerative farming means you’re getting carbon out of the air and into the soil. There have been some eye-popping claims about how much carbon we could capture….

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