How did you find your way to the regenerative food side of social justice work?
That’s a great question! Food is at the core of building social justice. Whenever there is a major crisis like an economic collapse, the first thing you see is a lack of access to food, bad nutrition or starvation in certain places. We overlook food both as a cause of social injustice and as a solution. Food unites us. Every human – regardless of color, race, religion – needs to eat.
I found my way to regenerative food quickly after I had my first child. I was shocked that the system discouraged me from breastfeeding my son. I could see that everything was set up to have me avoid breastfeeding, and to steal from him his right to be nursed. I quickly became aware of the injustice that was driving that industry. And I became an activist for breastfeeding, which was closely connected to my background in ecofeminism. I then started looking at my own relationship with food and saw that it was also a source of injustice. And so started my journey into regenerative food.
What does regenerative food mean for you?
There is a tendency nowadays to turn the term regenerative food into something very generic with greenwashing. But to put it simply, the core idea is leaving the earth in better condition than how you found it. It’s not only not destroying it, but improving it. There is a saying from the North American indiginous people: “we do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. That is the concept of regeneration for me. The future is coming, and it needs to be better and more abundant.
Agricology is an approach to food that is absolutely aware of the social, environmental and communitarian needs of our planet today. Regenerative food is an entirely holistic approach that looks into improving the future for all – nature, humankind, and society. Or as Satish Kumar says, soil, soul, society. For example, if you’re taking care of the soil but ignoring the rights and welfare of the workers, this is not regenerative.