Is A Regenerative Ag Future Enough? | #PodSaveChocolate

Is A Regenerative Ag Future Enough? | #PodSaveChocolate

Episode 18 of #PodSaveChocolate features a discussion of Regenerative Agriculture compared with Agroforestry and other approaches – some ancient and some modern.

When and Where to Watch

This episode airs live from 10:00 MST / 12:00 EST / 17:00 GMT on Friday, February 9th, 2024. This post was updated after the livestream to include the featured image in the gallery below as well as to add a link to my FB group, Salones Internacionales de Cacao y Chocolate, which is just short of reaching the 10,000 member mark.
Is a Regenerative Ag Future Enough? | #PodSaveChocolate
Episode 18 Oveview This episode of #PodSaveChocolate features a discussion of regenerative agriculture, its goals and methods, through the lens of “Is this t…

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Episode 18 Overview

This episode of #PodSaveChocolate features a discussion of regenerative agriculture, its goals and methods, through the lens of “Is this the best idea? Is it even a good idea? What might be missing? What can we learn from other approaches, such as agroforestry and ancient practices such as the milpa? What is agropequaria and does it have a role? What is the regenerative movement a response to? What does a regenerative ag cocoa farm look like?”

What’s Old is New Again

Milpa - Wikipedia
A milpa is a field, usually but not always recently cleared, in which farmers plant a [mix of] crops at once including maize, avocados, multiple varieties of squash and beans, melon, tomatoes, chilis, sweet potato, jícama, amaranth, and mucuna ... Milpa crops are nutritionally and environmentally complementary. Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which the body needs to make proteins and niacin; ... Beans have both lysine and tryptophan ... Squashes, for their part, provide an array of vitamins; avocados, fats. The milpa, in the estimation of H. Garrison Wilkes, a maize researcher at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, “is one of the most successful human inventions ever created.” [To which I would add fermentation and nixtamalization.]
—  Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Some Definitions

The term regenerative agriculture has been defined in various ways by different sources, but it generally refers to a system of farming principles and practices that increase biodiversity, enrich soils, improve watersheds, and enhance ecosystem services. While there are competing definitions, the core focus remains on improving soil health and promoting sustainable land management practices.
— Source:
Regenerative Agriculture 101
NRDC interviewed more than 100 farmers and ranchers who are building healthy soil and growing climate-resilient communities across the country. This guide incorporates much of what we learned.

From the Natural Resources Defense Council

Why Regenerative Agriculture? - Regeneration International
Why Regenerative Agriculture? “If you’ve never heard about the amazing potential of regenerative agriculture and land use practices to naturally sequester a critical mass of CO2 in the soil and […]
Regenerative agriculture - Wikipedia
Agroforestry is a multifunctional system that can provide a wide range of sociocultural and environmental benefits. It is crucial to smallholder farmers and other rural people because it can enhance their income and health. By integrating trees on farms and in the agricultural landscape, agroforestry diversifies and sustains production for increased social, economic, and environmental benefits for land users at all levels.
— Source:
Agroforestry is the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems to create environmental, economic, and social benefits. It has been practiced in the United States and around the world for centuries.
What is Agroforestry?
Agroforestry - Wikipedia


The Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) is a holistic certification for food, textiles, and personal care ingredients. It is overseen by the 501(c)3 nonprofit Regenerative Organic Alliance and incorporates fair trade principles, making it a critical framework for a healthy future. The certification sets high standards for soil health, animal welfare, and farmworker fairness. Similarly, the Certified Regenerative by AGW and REGEN1 are other examples of regenerative certifications that focus on holistic agricultural practices, including soil health, biodiversity, water quality, and social fairness. These certifications aim to ensure that the food is produced in a way that promotes healthier ecosystems, cleaner air and water, and better treatment for workers and animals.
— Source:
Farm like the World Depends on it
Regenerative Organic Certification is a holistic agriculture certification encompassing pasture-based animal welfare, fairness for farmers and workers, and robust requirements for soil health and land management.
Regenerative Organic Certified® - Rodale Institute
Regenerative Organic Certified® is a new, holistic agricultural standard that’s raising the bar for how food is produced.
Certified Regenerative - A Greener World
Certified Regenerative - A Greener World
The leading solution for companies to be carbon neutral certified | Climate Impact Partners
Companies that take action by becoming carbon neutral reap the rewards of increased revenue, reduced costs, new commercial opportunities and reduced risks. Find out why.

The Hacienda Victoria has been certified as carbon neutral.

Please help my Facebook groupSalones Internacionales de Cacao y Chocolate — reach 10,000 members in February!

This group, originally named Salons del Cacao y Chocolate, was created after I visited Perú in 2013 for the salon there. I wanted a way for the people I met there to continue the conversations we started. When I translated the name into Spanish the group started to take off. While most of the membership is in South America and many of the posts are in Spanish, membership in the group is global.

Episode Hashtags

#Regenerative #RegenerativeAgriculture #Agroforestry
#Restorative #RestorativeAgriculture
#cocoa #cacao #cacau
#chocolate #chocolat
#PodSaveChocolate #PodSaveChoc #PSC
#LaVidaCocoa #TheChocolateLife

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