Grassroots Rising: A holistic vision for a healthy food system and climate
Ronnie Cummins grew up in a part of Texas so toxic that there are no longer enough classmates to have a high school reunion. He became a human rights activist, and then a food and farming activist. In his new book, Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal, he looks at how the food system contributes to climate disruption, and how that can be turned around so that food, health, climate, and communities are improved by healthy agriculture practices.
The book is published by Chelsea Green, and if you order a book and enter code DTE30 at check-out, you will receive a special Down to Earth Podcast discount on your purchase.
2’45 growing up in a highly toxic area in Texas
4’06 no high school reunions because most of his class died of toxicity
4’45 from human rights activism to food and farming
6’46 the real contrubution of agriculture and the food system to climate disruption
9’34 the importance of drawing down carbon from the atmosphere through good land use
10’50 ways to reduce carbon footprint of the food system
11’56 long-term reduction on soil organic matter, and where that carbon went
12’55 our ability to successfully reach goals for emissions reduction and drawdown
15’13 educating consumers, funders, and elected officials, and advancing policy change
16’57 factors in land transition to regenerative
21’34 getting corporations on board
25’59 unequal playing field where big producers are subsidized and smaller regenerative operations are not
28’59 what to do about farm land that has been lost to corporate farms
31’42 paying for regenerative practices instead of subsidies to “conventional”
34’20 getting political buy-in
38’43 cutting off subsidies
40’03 vegetarianism not the solution for the whole country — supporting ranchers who are doing a good job
42’27 paying for “externalities”
45’33 questions about consumerism
47’15 consumerism and overuse of devices a symtom of a mental health issues in the US
49’27 the mental and physical health benefits of a better diet
51’09 the problem of the spread of disinformation in mass media
51’58 go outdoors!
Many food producers spend so much on interest to banks that they can’t pay for improvements to make their farms more resilient and regenerative. Zach Ducheneaux talks about an alternative that’s already having some success in Indian country.
In her new book, Judith Schwartz takes us to five continents and tell us stories of people restoring devastated landscapes–and overcoming deep conflicts that stem from degraded ecosystems. The results are phenomenal.
“What’s good for the bird is good for the herd”–that’s the basis of a win-win initiative to preserve bird habitat on ranches and grasslands. We speak with Audubon Society VP Marshall Johnson about grassland ecology and their successful conservation collaborations.