‚What no country can withstand . . . ‚


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‚What no country can withstand is the loss of its soil.‘

Dear Friend,

hands holding a seedling in soilWithout soil, there is no food. And soil stripped of its organic, microbial life produces food stripped of the nutrients and microbes we require for good health.

Today is World Soil Day. A good day to recall the wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt:

“The Nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.”

For decades, we’ve been on the wrong path when it comes to caring for the soil. According to a recent report, the UK is only 30-40 years away from the “total eradication of soil fertility.”

That warning is even more dire that the United Nations’ prediction of just 60 years of farming left, unless we do something to restore the world’s soils.

Closer to home? A recent article on GreenBiz.com put it this way:

“To the extent that America’s agricultural soil is a national treasure — and a buried treasure at that — industrial ag has been squandering it for decades.”

The article notes that 96 percent of North America’s soil erosion comes from our current methods of food production.

Fortunately, you know that the way to end industrial ag and “regenerate” our food and farming system (not to mention restore climate stability) is by supporting the farmers and producers who are “just saying no” to Monsanto and transitioning to organic, regenerative farming and ranching.

And thankfully, the notion that we need to reverse course, quickly, is going mainstream. This week, the New York Times featured a piece on soil. And even McDonald’s is rethinking its business model.

We have three suggestions for celebrating World Soil Day:

•    Watch this video produced by Regeneration International (RI). Our favorite quote from the video comes from Michael Gove, the UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: “What no country can withstand is the loss of its soil.” (RI is an independent nonprofit for which OCA provides significant funding).

•    Watch this livestream of Ronnie Cummins, Vandana Shiva and Andre Leu on Friday, Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m. EST. Ronnie, Vandana and Andre speak at the Acres USA conference on how to move from an agriculture that is degenerating our soils, health, communities, environment and farm viability to an agriculture that will regenerate our soils, health, climate and environment, nourish the world and very importantly will increase the profitability of farms and regenerate our communities. More on the Acres USA conference here.

•    Join the Citizens Regeneration Lobby. In January, OCA will launch a new platform to engage consumers in cities, counties, states—and even at the federal level—in campaigns to regenerate their communities by building local alliances capable of influencing local elections and local policy. We can’t wait for a top-down solution to our broken food and farming system. Corporations are focused exclusively on pleasing shareholders. Federal politicians are focused exclusively on pleasing their donors—who are corporations and wealthy shareholders. To regenerate our local food systems and economies, we’ll need to repopulate our local governing bodies with leaders who answer to local alliances that demand better solutions for local farmers, and better protections for local ecosystems.

Soil is life. It takes about one thousand years to develop one inch of healthy, organic, nutrient-rich soil.

We better get going.

Happy World Soil Day!

–    Katherine, for the OCA team

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