A regenerative wave is taking over. As defined by the Oxford English dictionary, the word regenerative means to grow or re-grow. It also means bringing new and more vigorous life into an area, institution or industry, or to place a new or higher spiritual meaning to something. More recently, the word regenerative is being used to describe a call to action for a more holistic approach to farming that raises the bar on organic standards and aligns with biomimetics – the imitation of models, systems and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. Now that we understand the health consequences of our industrialized agricultural system, sustainable practices won’t go far enough to meet the challenges we face. It’s time we start looking at regenerating our natural resources, and in doing so, address the broader health concerns that humans are dealing with beyond food production. It’s true that different seasons of the year instigate motivation towards healthier behaviors, but spring is an especially unique time. As we embrace the seasonal changes abundant all around us, it’s also a great opportunity to reflect on our own wellness routines and identify areas of our lives that aren’t serving us or that are interfering with our ability to live each day to the fullest. Regenerative self-care grants us the opportunity to grow or regrow and add new meaning to our lives.
Pillars of Regenerative Agriculture
The pillars of regenerative agriculture refer to optimizing soil health, animal welfare and ensuring social fairness for workers from field to processing facility. This methodology offers an alternative to the extractive agricultural model that has persisted throughout the 21st century, promoting a reciprocal exchange of resources used in the growth and production of food. The ecological benefit of this approach is shared among all the organisms along the food chain, resulting in better growing conditions and food that has a greater capacity to nourish people, animals and the environments where the food is grown.
While organic certification provides a dependable level of consumer safety and protection, we need to evolve our practices further to identify best practices for all organisms on earth – even the micro-organisms at work in the soil on our behalf. While the absence of petrochemicals, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers protect us from disease in a myriad of ways, organic standards do not currently go far enough to ensure optimal soil health. Recent studies have demonstrated that the biggest impact we can make towards reducing the human devastation that results from climate disasters is through agricultural practices that return carbon to the soil rather than release it, reducing the warming effects of excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
We can also consider the idea of regenerative from a self-care perspective. It’s empowering to know that positive, healthy changes are always within our reach if we simply stay focused on growth and becoming the best version of ourselves. At the core of this principle is the choices we make around nutrition and the food we purchase, taking into consideration the full health implications and environmental impact of how things are grown. Just as regular cardiovascular exercise is critical to our cells’ ability to communicate, absorb nutrients and filter out toxins, diversity in our microbiome is critical to preventing disease. We can restore that diversity through eating foods grown regeneratively that enhance soil health. Ultimately, we can continuously strive for growth by paying close attention to all aspects of life that aren’t enhancing our well-being, and make space for balance and fulfillment, while adding new meaning to life in the process.
The beauty in regenerative is that it implies constant opportunity for growth, improvement and renewal. When we live synergistically with the natural environment, taking cues from mother nature, eating the way food was intended to be eaten, we reap enormous health benefits. Springtime is another welcome opportunity to regenerate, re-store and renew. There is no doubt we can all identify one thing we’d like to change or add to our health routine. It could be that the exercise routine you’ve maintained for years has ceased to produce results because your body has naturally plateaued. Maybe it’s time to do something drastic about your diet like reducing animal protein intake or take a baby step with the Vegan Before Six (VB6) plan. Perhaps you’ve noticed that pain and inflammation is increasing with age, limiting your ability to do the things you really love to do for exercise. Rather than give up or succumb to using copious amounts of ibuprofen to get through your workout, perhaps Navitas Organics’ new Restore Superfood Shot can help! Its combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients including 20mg of hemp CBD, turmeric, Vitamin C, electrolytes and magnesium may help you get back to your fitness routine sooner than you think. While any of these behaviors alone might be the change needed, you can get closer to your wellness goals by staying focused on continuous adaptation and growth. Why wait when you can regenerate?