How we grow food is critical to human survival.
First, the bad news. Industrial agriculture is driving climate change by plowing millions of acres for corn; plowing allows soil carbon to oxidize. Conventional farming has also diminished the organic matter in soils, making whole regions vulnerable to floods and drought. The widespread use of herbicides and pesticides is destroying the soil food web—a subterranean army of fungi, bacteria, protozoa and nematodes essential to soil health and fertility.
The good news: raising cattle on grass and forages—no grain, and no feedlots—can eliminate the multiple problems of industrial beef production. Rotational grazing of ruminants sequesters carbon and can restore grasslands and small water cycles worldwide.