If you’re here, it’s safe to assume you may well have come across the term #regenuary somewhere on your travels. And, like a lot of people, you may well be asking ‘what is #regenuary?’. So we thought we’d write a quick guide to the month and why at Ember we think, in fact we know, that the regenerative farming movement is so important to the future of our planet.
AKA: The most exciting movement in food. It does just what it says on the tin: it restores our tired soil, rebuilds our depleted wildlife and regenerates our damaged ecosystems through farming.
The truth is, our modern food system has lost respect for both farmland and farm animals. 70 years of intense chemical use and ecosystem abuse has left us with soil that some experts predict only has 50 crops left in it. So about 25 years until the soil stops growing anything basically, and that’s without taking into account the hell that industrially reared animals live through.
But there is a better way: regenerative farming. It represents that rare thing, a genuine chance to reverse the effects of industrial scale exploitation of soil. Animals are treated as a valuable part of the system, not as lumps of flesh to be grown in the cheapest way possible. And to top it off, regeneratively produced food is hands down the best tasting stuff out there.
If it’s so important, why am I only just hearing about it?
As a movement rooted in soil health, regenerative agriculture has naturally been quite underground. At Ember we love soil, it is quite literally life, but try holding up a handful of mud to someone and telling them it’s sexy. Without a bit of explaining, it’s a hard sell. But that’s changing.
Companies like Yeo Valley and Riverford have led the way for years, and now the next generation is emerging. People care more now than at any point in the last 70 years about where their food comes from. They can see through ‘sustainability’ and the ‘eco’ greenwash. That’s why we’re seeing these amazing companies emerge and challenge our food system to transform itself.
But there’s a long way to go. Eating regeneratively can be tough and sometimes feel practically impossible to access without knowing what to look for and where to get it. And, when you do find it, it can seem so expensive that surely it can only ever be a luxury? The thing is, that doesn’t need to be the case.
The focus of #regenuary is to build a movement around regenerative agriculture, providing a beacon around which brands like Ember can gather. It encourages people to step out of their comfort zone, introduce themselves to these radical new ways of producing food and get some of it on their plates.
It’s not something that can happen overnight. It’s not a diet shift but rather a different way of seeing food, challenging us to ask questions beyond the label and dig into the stories around what we’re putting in our mouths. The regenerative movement is full of amazing stories, and the food it produces tells them so deliciously.
It may be a cliche, but every great journey starts with one small step. Whether that’s switching to Yeo Valley instead of your normal own brand or replacing your industrially produced meat snacks with regeneratively produced Ember British charcuterie, just introducing yourself to a regenerative way of eating is one of the most impactful things you can do.
That’s why this #regenuary, Ember are challenging you to #regenerateyourplate. And, to start you off, we’ll send you a free pack of our British charcuterie. Just click this link, sign up and we’ll do the rest.
In the meantime, if you want to learn any more we’ve compiled a little crash course of books, podcasts and films (and a couple more blogs from Ember).