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Soil Health Is Human Health

In their new book, What Your Food Ate: How to Restore Our Land and Reclaim Our Health, geologist David R. Montgomery and biologist Anne Biklé make a compelling argument that regenerative farming practices result in healthier soil and higher nutrient density in food.

In the book, the husband-and-wife team share the results of their own extensive research and the existing literature on soil health. Conventional farming practices, including tillage and commercial fertilizers, disrupt the necessary, healthy symbiosis between plants and the soil, they write, noting, “We traded away quality in pursuit of quantity as modernized farming chased higher yields, overlooking a farmer’s natural allies in the soil.”

We spoke with them recently about the nutrients that set food grown with regenerative practices apart, and why they believe those practices, including the no-till method’s greater capacity for holding water and preventing soil erosion, could be a key solution to drought in the West.