Understanding Regenerative Agriculture’s Impact on Vegetables

Understanding Regenerative Agriculture’s Impact on Vegetables

Before considering the positive impact that regenerative farming has on the quality of vegetables (and much more), it’s important to first have more context about the challenges. Said another way, before discussing the solution, it can make sense to describe the problem. 

Historical Decreasing of Nutritional Quality

A landmark study led by Donald Davis of the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas in Austin gathered USDA nutritional content data of forty-three fruits and vegetables from 1950 and contrasted them from data about the same crops in 1999. The result: six out of thirteen nutrients being examined declined anywhere from nine to thirty-eight percent: phosphorus, iron, calcium, protein, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid. Similarly alarming results came from a 1997 study titled “Historical Changes in the Mineral Content of Fruits and Vegetables” published in British Food Journal. Plus, Australia has chimed in with its own distressing study.

The messaging is clear. Nutritional levels have declined when compared to foods eaten by our grandparents’ generations. So, what happened?

Information provided by California State University shares that growing for higher yield and the “decline in soil quality due to certain agricultural practices” are factors in nutritional decline. As more plants per acre remove more nutrients out of soil, the health of the soil becomes depleted unless it’s appropriately managed. 

Meanwhile, “crops grown in healthy, biologically active soils do not have lower nutrient levels.”

Healthy Soil and Regenerative Farming

Explanations found in the California State University material remarkably echo what Bob Jones, Jr. from The Chef’s Garden says about the three-legged stool of soil health. For healthy soil that leads to healthy crops for healthy people and a healthy planet, it’s important to regeneratively grow crops in ways that take the soil’s physical structure, biological activity, and chemical balance into account. Each of these factors is important all by itself and, when all three optimally interact with one another, exponential improvements happen.

At The Chef’s Garden, we’ll continue to use best practices backed by solid agricultural research as we grow farm-fresh vegetables with the maximum of flavor and nutrition—veggies made available to you and your family through our farmers market: Farmer Jones Farm.

Now, here’s another huge benefit of this type of agriculture. 

Regenerative Farming and Sustainable Food Production

Regenerative farming practices produce healthy soil for healthy crops for healthy people—and also contribute to a healthier climate as it sequesters carbon. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in 2021, carbon dioxide, all by itself, accounted for two thirds of the human produced greenhouse gasses with a heating effect. In other words, global warming.

Regenerative farming helps to capture those gasses, removing them from the atmosphere in ways that dovetail with nature. Take a key facet of regenerative agriculture: multi-species cover crops. This technique alone, when planted across twenty million acres, could sequester approximately sixty metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. This one action could offset vehicle emissions of nearly thirteen million vehicles. 

Become Part of the Regenerative Agriculture Movement!

Quality information is good to have—but, then what? Plenty of people no longer grow their own crops, so regeneratively farming isn’t an action for them to take. Choosing regeneratively grown foods to feed your family, however, is a simple and highly effective action. We make it easy at Farmer Jones Farm at The Chef’s Garden where you can build a box of farm-fresh vegetables for your family’s healthy and delicious meals!

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