Climate change is a complex, multilayered challenge that requires a complex, multilayered solution — and, though not widely known, regenerative agriculture has been taking center stage as such a solution over the last couple of years.
From a climate perspective, the main idea behind regenerative agriculture is to support biodiversity within the soil, and thus enable it to store as much CO2 as possible. But practices of regenerative agriculture can do a lot more, including empowering new generations of farmers as well as promoting animal welfare.
With that in mind, several companies such as Patagonia and Stonyfield Farm have already made regenerative agriculture a key component of their sustainability efforts. The thing is, however, that there’s still a lot of work to be done to bring the incredible benefits of these agricultural practices to the attention of farmers and the public.
A new Netflix documentary called Kiss the Ground aims to reach that goal by raising awareness about the amazing potential of this conservation approach for both farmers as well as for climate action.
The documentary is the fruit of loads of research into the practice by directors Josh and Rebecca Tickell, who have spent the last seven years exploring regenerative agriculture and unpacking the science behind it.
Apart from documenting the idea behind regenerative farming, the film also gives ample historical context to how the world’s soil has degraded to the drastic levels of today, tracing the early causes to the industrial revolution and the increasing use of pesticides over the last decades.
According to Josh, in order to reach as wide of an audience as possible, the doc takes an apolitical approach in covering the topic, featuring scientists, farmers, and climate activists. “You’ve got two different ways of looking at this issue from two different political standpoints: From the right, this is an issue of economics, jobs, farmers, and food. And from the left, this is an issue of climate, and ecological and human health,” he says.
“None of those perspectives are incorrect, and what’s missing in the current political conversation is the importance of soil health being this keystone that can address all of these different issues.”
“We wanted to make sure that the message was something that would be unifying. What we have is something that people from any part of the world from any political view can find something relevant to them in it,” adds Rebecca.