In a nutshell, regenerative farming techniques mimic and support natural farm ecosystems by incorporating tactics such as crop rotation, cover cropping, and reduced tillage to help build and maintain healthy soil.
This leads to increased water retention, better nutrient cycling, and improved structure, with increased soil health also helping to capture and store carbon in the soil (known as carbon sequestration), mitigating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment.
Regenerative farms either rid themselves of or seriously reduce their use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, often incorporating multiple crops and livestock into a single system to promote biodiversity and help to naturally reduce the risk of pest and disease outbreaks.
This is effectively the principles of agroecology – a sustainable, regenerative marriage between the farm environment and agricultural production systems.
So what of the food quality?
Well, according to arecent study by the University of Washington
, which spans the results of 10 different farms using the above techniques over the last five to 10 years; regenerative farming practices helped produce better quality crops with greater resilience to pests and diseases, and improved yields, leading to the production of nutrient-dense foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
Finally, from a consumer standpoint, the combination of health and taste benefits from nutrient-dense food options and clear sustainability credentials from its production practices makes regenerative farming an extremely attractive proposition.
So what are some of the examples of farms employing regenerative tactics, and the UK restaurants now showcasing regenerative ingredients in menu items?
Here's three of each: