Looking at the Complexity of Biological Cascades

This image shows water cascading over a waterfall. Just as the water that falls is hard to reverse, actions in biology can trigger reactions that are difficult to change.

  What do air pollution, obesity, livestock production, and the COVID-19 pandemic have in common?  According to the cornerstones model of healthy food systems, each of these factors plays into the security and sustainability of the food webs we rely on to maintain food security, health, and prosperity.  Other factors are involved of course, but for simplicity  in today’s discussion, ...

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Food Webs and Healthy Microbiomes

What does a healthy microbiome look like? In the last decade, the potential for the human microbiome to improve human health has leaped from obscure scientific abstracts onto the public radar.  School teachers, health coaches, and dental hygienists and nutrition experts are preaching the need for a healthy microbiome.  But what does a healthy microbiome look like? A Healthy Microbiome ...

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Food Webs and Free Trade

Image shows people buying food at a market.

Like Economies, Food Webs Function to Exchange Resources Did you ever wonder how a food web resembles an economy? Both are always changing.  Both are living systems.  Both function best when diversity is present… Some argue that food webs are nature’s economy, or even the first economy.  This is because food webs are defined by resource exchange.   The trade of ...

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Food Webs on Farms and Gardens

Image shows cattle and chickens foraging in a mixed species pasture. Orchard saplings grow in the same cover crop mix nearby. A closeup image of the cover crop is also shown.

Farms and gardens that maintain active food webs produce healthier food.  When soil contains sufficiently diverse and abundant live microorganisms, food webs develop.  These food webs release nutrients from deep within the soil profile, and deliver them to plants in eco-friendly, bioavailable forms.  The result includes well-nourished plants that are better able to protect themselves from pests and disease. This ...

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Understanding Food Webs

Image compares and contrasts food chains and food webs.

What exactly is a food web? Nearly a century ago, the ecologist Charles Elton introduced us to the concept of food chains –linear series of links that shows how food, which provides the environmental currency of nutrients and energy, moves through an ecosystem. No doubt you’ve seen illustrations of food chains.  These often begin with some kind of plant, like ...

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A Decision Tree for Building a Farm

Why Should I Build a Farm? The economy of the post-pandemic world has changed. As the world takes on the challenge of economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 world,  displaced workers are looking at digital sales, direct marketing, and, believe-it-or-not, organic farming as niche industries where they can hang their hats anew, and restore the success they had when the world ...

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Freedom is Essential for Regenerating Healthy Food Systems

Image shows a model of healthy food systems based on 4 cornerstones of a clean environment, regenerative agriculture, nutritional health, and freedom.

Regenerative Agriculture is a Promising Approach to Building Better Food Systems.  Regenerative agriculture is rapidly becoming a buzzword, largely because it offers great promise for restoring soil and environmental health while building farm profits and improving human health and nutrition.  What is not to love about the concept? Food Systems are Built on Four Interdependent Cornerstones When we began building ...

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Covid-19 Inspired Gardens Need Care All Summer Long.

Image of tomato plants

Gardens are blooming in 2020 The year 2020 is proving to be a challenge for everyone whose health or business has been impacted by the global pandemic.   Every decision maker, from mom and pop to corporate executives and leaders of nations is faced with uncertainty.  Garden centers are a niche market that seems to be doing well.  As people seek ...

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Farm Shopping: Embracing the Regenerative Vision

Farm Shopping: Embracing the Regenerative Vision

  Stepping into Regenerative Agriculture So, you think you are ready to get on the regenerative agriculture bandwagon?   You are not alone. Farmers,  food think tanks, , environmental groups, indigenous communities,  and even the New York Times are taking interest in regenerative agriculture.  Regenerative production models are recognized as a way to restore the environment, combat climate change, improve human ...

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Online Conference Connects Soil Health to Your Health

Good Nutrition Begins On Farms and In Gardens.  Hipocrates once recognized food as the best medicine.  Of course, it goes without saying that only good food is good medicine. Food that is rich in functional vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals can support healthy body weights, combat cancer, promote sleep, and ensure a strong immune system. Today it seems like everyone is ...

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