In a recent talk hosted at TEDx Gateway, Regrow CEO and cofounder Anastasia Volkova, PhD, highlighted the vital importance of soil health in our fight against climate change. Soil holds more than three times the carbon that our atmosphere does, making it one of the world’s oldest and most crucial carbon banks (along with oceans and forests). Healthy soil can store more greenhouse gasses, meaning that if we manage and maintain it properly, we can use it to help slow or reverse climate change.
“If we picture soil as the world’s oldest bank, the last two millennia have been about increasing the credit limit and growing on it without paying it back”
said Anastasia, speaking about the practice of agriculture and its growth over the last 2,000 years.
Our agricultural practices over previous centuries have often failed to properly protect soil health, lowering its fertility, biodiversity and carbon sequestering potential. Frequent tillage and the use of industrial fertilizers , cornerstones of traditional western agriculture, quickens the breakdown of organic soil matter, leading to carbon escaping into the atmosphere.
As Anastasia outlines in her TEDx Talk, adopting regenerative farming practices, such as no-till farming and cover cropping, can help reverse the damage done to our soil and our climate as a whole.
“Regenerative agricultural practices help the soil build-up more organic matter, sequester carbon and more importantly produce healthier food,” emphasized Anastasia.
“In addition to these practices being good for us as consumers, these practices are good for the farmers financially as they allow them to reduce the amount of synthetic chemicals used in crop production, making not only the environment better but also the farm’s bottom line stronger.”
Anastasia explained that, to facilitate the spread of regenerative agriculture, we must first incentivize farmers to take up farming methods that are good for the planet.
“Suddenly, sustainability isn’t an extra risk for the farm, hence the farm can become more financially stable while the regenerative ag practices keep building up the soil health.”
See the full TEDx Talk here: