What is the ‘future of food’? Artificially made steaks, shakes for all your nutrient intake for the day, vertical farming?
As new technologies emerge and we isolate ourselves from the origins of our food, our connection between food and nature dwindles.
But, what if there was an alternative ‘future of food’? A future built to last, regenerate and created by nature.
Our food is inextricably linked to nature. For thousands of years we have been cultivating (bringing ‘culture to nature’) the land. But, as our understanding of the earth, climate and the environment improves, we are realising that nature is best left to its own devices.
Regenerative agriculture is a farming mindset that tries to remove as many elements of human intervention from the process as possible. By removing the ‘culture’ element of cultivation, leaving just ‘nature’ to grow our food in a natural and regenerative way.
If sustainability was a future trend in the last decade, regenerative goes above and beyond, restoring soil health with the added benefit of sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gases.
1. Regenerates the soil & the planet
Our cultures desire for cheap meat has created a food and farming system that is damaging to our lands and is an ethical nightmare for animals.
All life on earth is dependant on 6” of top soil. This is where food begins. However, soils are being degraded at an alarming rate by over grazing, tilling and using pesticides & fertilisers.
The principles of regenerative farming are centred around rebuilding and replenishing–rather than degrading and withdrawing–soil and ecosystems.
By changing the grazing patterns to mimic how livestock would feed in the wild- moving daily in a tight pack to feed on fresh land - farms can over time become carbon negative. Helping to reverse current global trends of atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide.
At Always Grazing, we promote a ‘conscious capitalist’ model, the more successful our farmers are the more carbon they can sequester, the more biodiversity they can restore and the more livestock will be reared in healthy natural grassland habitats rather than incarcerated in unethical environmentally destructive farms.
2. Fake meat is not good for us or the planet
Despite being touted by Bill Gates and his multi billion pound investments, fake meat is unfortunately not going to save us from ecological disaster or cure our health and wellness problems.
‘Big food’ like with any ‘big’ industry like pharma the power is in the hands of a small number of highly powerful businesses / lobbies / groups who yield the status quo of entire industries. Taking the power from the hands of small farmers and nature.
This is ultra processed food with an emphasis on proteins created in a laboratory. It requires huge amounts of mono crops to produce the ingredients. Heavy equipment, chemicals and soil degradation wreak havoc on the natural land system having a negative impact on animals, insects and microbial life.
Fake meat and processed vegan food often come in fun packaging and promoted as the ‘healthy option’, despite being highly processed, high in saturated fats, carbohydrates and salt.
We must make more of a humble partnership with nature if we are to move towards a more regenerative future.
3. It’s a lifestyle baby.
At its core, the term “regenerate” means to restore to a better state. This can apply to soil, the farm, the farmers and the communities around the farm but, also regenerating your body through better nourishment and restoring local communities.
It’s more than just about the food you eat. It can be a part of a new lifestyle.
As we raise animals slowly and gently in full accord with nature, we use farming techniques that leave our soil in healthier shape but also our health and livelihoods of local supply chains and wildlife.
At Always Grazing we’re helping to create a conscious life for our consumers by ‘going beyond the butcher’s counter’. To empower our customers to think differently about their food, question provenance, try new recipes and eat nose-to tail.
4. Wild tastes & kinder to our bodies
Regenerative farming aims to mimic animals’ natural movements and instincts, allowing them to feed on a wider variety of grasses and legumes, forage for berries, acorns and insects.
They taste like a wild animal should taste. The nutrients in the fat gives the meat an overall deeper, richer flavour, rather than the often bland taste of grain fed meat.
Grass fed meat and full-fat dairy products are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, the nutrients are easy for us to absorb as the animals have done all the work for us, converting inedible grass into essential nutrients.
5. Works with nature, not against it
The current conventional, monoculture farming system is breaking. It is fighting against nature instead of trying to coexist with nature.
Regenerative is more than a mere alternative strategy, it represents a fundamental shift in our culture’s relationship to nature.
Regenerative agriculture seeks to mimic nature, not dominate it.
Biodiversity can accomplish many of the things we rely on inputs for in our current paradigm. Fertiliser comes from animals and plant matter. Predators and competition are nature’s insecticides. Herbivores and competition are nature’s herbicides. The importance of plant diversity in and near farmland cannot be overstated.
Bees are often a good litmus test for a healthy and thriving ecosystem. Healthy bees = healthy ecosystems = healthy humans.