Viewpoint: ‘Feel-good purchases’: This farmer believes the ‘regenerative agriculture movement’ is the latest fad promoting misconceptions about conventional farming

Credit: Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash
Credit: Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash

The public’s fascination with regenerative agriculture is relatively new. But many people seem to think it’s a way to “fix” agriculture (even though there’s nothing to fix). Companies are making million-dollar investments. We’re seeing labels popping up for brands implementing the trend. And influencers are embracing and heralding this “new” perspective as game changing. Even UDSA’s Secretary Tom Vilsack is pushing a shift to regenerative agriculture.

What I find so amusing is that we’ve seen this before. I started blogging nine years ago. The same excitement we see around regenerative agriculture today is exactly the same aspirations we saw around organic farming then. Organic farming was going to “fix” agriculture.

In five years there will be another farming trend. People will hail it as the way to “fix” agriculture. Companies will invest in it and pay for pretty labels. All those online experts will sing its praises.

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These movements are more about feel-good purchases than actually accomplishing anything long term. Unfortunately, it also seems like they never completely die. Just like diet fads, they come and go and–to some extent–stick around forever. That’s what I find so amusing about regenerative agriculture; it’s following the same trajectory as all the other trends. There’s just something about food.

Related article:  Worth the higher price tag? What benefits are you really getting when you garden using organic seeds?

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