I’m going on a diet. A Climate Change Diet. An eating regime that not only makes me healthier, but also affects the earth and ecosystem in beneficial ways. If enough of us signed up for the Climate Change Diet or Climate Diet, we might have a positive impact on the global climate crisis.
The Climate Diet differs from other diets in that I won’t be counting calories. I won’t be required to exercise anymore than I already do. There are no restrictions as far as having to adopt a vegetarian, vegan or paleo diet. After being on the Climate Diet for a few months, I may not look any better in a little black dress, but chances are, I and future generations will continue to have many opportunities to wear that dress!
The Climate Diet is simple. You can do it if you grow your own food or if you purchase all or most of your groceries from a store.
Here is its only rule:
Do your best to eat food that was grown in a responsible manner by someone who, through their growing methods, increases soil fertility.
That’s it. Buy food from someone who takes care of the soil. If you grow food, take care of your soil. Good land stewards have a direct influence on climate change because their agriculture and grazing methods directly affect the amount of carbon in their soil.
Farmers and ranchers can sequester excess carbon from the atmosphere and put it to beneficial use in soil through managed grazing, no or low till agriculture, cover cropping, composting, mulching and using bio-based fertilizers and soil amendments instead of synthetic toxins that harm soil fertility.
On the Climate Diet, you would most likely buy organically grown food and meat. Synthetic pesticides and herbicides decrease microbial life within the soil. A soil rich with microbes is alive and fertile. These microbes, especially mycorrhizal fungi, can increase the amount of carbon in the soil. Most of the world’s soils are carbon-depleted. By choosing to eat the Climate Diet way, we are creating the conditions for soil carbon-sequestration to happen!
As an added bonus, when plants are grown in healthy soil, they are usually more nutrient rich, which is good news for our health. Plus, synthetic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are usually made of fossil fuels which have a devastating impact on our environment and contribute greatly to climate change.
If you eat meat, the Climate Diet means buying grass-fed beef and other animal products from a ranch or farm where the animals graze in a way that increases grass growth, soil fertility and carbon sequestration. Grasses, especially perennial native grasses can act like big straws sucking carbon out of the air. The carbon can then be stored in the soil for a long time in the grasses’ long tap roots until it is disturbed. In this type of land management, animal waste, instead of being a pollutant (like it is in crowded feedlots) becomes a natural soil amendment.
However we do it, increasing soil fertility could be a giant step in reversing climate change.
Let’s adopt the Climate Diet and see what happens… our dietary choices might lead us to a greener, healthier world and a more stable climate.