Big Food Eyes Big Dirt As the Future of "Sustainable" Farming

General Mills and other major food orgs are suddenly interested in regenerative agriculture. Is that a good thing?

After decades of tearing up the ground and pumping synthetic fertilizers into American soil, it finally looks like food companies like General Mills, Danon, Kellogg, and Nestlé are coming around to the idea that healthy dirt = a safer, better, cheaper way of farming. Good for them? Maybe? Right?

As fellow nonprofit news org Civil Eats reports, Big Food officially has its eyes on "regenerative agriculture" –– a method of farming that uses no-till, cover crop, and managed grazing methods to naturally maintain soil health instead of tilling, churning, or pumping the ground full of fertilizers.

But as the news rolled out this month to the fanfare of digital ads and proposed pilot projects, a lot of climate change and farming experts are saying they have their doubts.

"Are they going to pay farmers more money to raise crops or animals in a different way?" asked Ben Lilliston, director of rural strategies and climate change at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. "And if they have to make changes, or don't meet their targets, what are the repercussions?"

Others in the community are concerned that the strategies promised by Big Food are little more than marketing tactics, essentially "greenwashing" the companies' (admittedly, still pretty terrible) farming practices around the world.

Good or bad, it's undoubtedly big news for the soil science community, which has been arguing for literal decades that there's a better way to clean up our farms. We'll let their future agricultural practices reveal their true intentions.

To learn more about the future of regenerative agriculture, check out the full article below:

Read more on Civil Eats.