Published on: February 6, 2023
Veganuary, Dry January, Eat Real Food, Exercise More…..
As I am commuting by train from Paris to Amsterdam, taking out air travel as much as possible when traveling through Europe, I am contemplating my 2023 resolutions. Wondering how many of us were able to stick to our intentions beyond January, now that we have entered February. Thankfully there are encouraging campaigns to help us stick to our goals.
One campaign that inspired me in January is #Regenuary. Launched in 2019 in the United Kingdom, the Regenuary movement started as a simple challenge to consider the impact of our food choices. It is raising awareness, at the consumer level, of how food purchases can impact the environment. Helping us understand that, in any dietary choice we make, we create positive or negative impact.
Inspired by the Veganuary campaign, the initiators of #Regenuary stimulate us to reflect on the assumption that plant-based food is always the better choice compared to animal-based food. Yet is it better when we source meat from regenerative sources?
From What To How
We should direct our thinking from what to how. We are led to believe that what we buy and eat matters more than how it was produced. The Regenuary campaign helps us re-think the existing narrative and look beyond what we typically get presented in the media. It urges us to “support farmers who farm ‘regeneratively’, meaning they work in tune with nature and restore our ecosystems, while producing nutritious food.”
Vegetable Oil Myth
The reason I highlight #Regenuary in this blog post is the link between the animal versus plant-based debate and the vegetable oil myth. The myth that palm oil is the villain no matter what, and how replacing it with oil from any other crop lessens environmental impact. In The Netherlands, where I live, there is even a margarine brand that uses that myth for commercial gains.
In the vegetable oil debate we also need to move away from the simplistic what-thinking to understanding how the crops for our vegetable oils are produced. And focus the debate on how we can minimise our impact.
In an interview with Live Frankly Glen Burrows, creator of Regenuary, explains what regenerative agriculture means: “To me, it’s any form of agriculture that provides two functions. The first one is to feed us. The second needs to be about restoration: repairing an ecosystem, increasing soil carbon, improving biodiversity… Basically, it’s a way of farming that creates an environment that works with nature and is therefore more resilient to change.”
In the palm oil industry there are several initiatives that field test regenerative oil palm cultivation. In fact, most of our organic growing practices are regenerative in nature. An article I published in Solutions Journal in 2020 supports the case for regenerative palm production.
How You Can Contribute
Regenerative agriculture should be our shared vision. Join the movement of people in and around the food and farming industries who are passionate about improving our food system. Think about where you source your food and ask yourself how your food was produced. Choose products from regenerative sources. Be a ‘regenetarian’.
Read more about regenerative agriculture and regenerative palm in my next blog post. And check more stories about how palm oil can be done right: www.palmdoneright.com. Join the movement!
Palm can be grown for good, bringing benefits to:
Together, we can influence change for: