The World We Eat, Part 4

This is the fourth installment in a series of articles looking at how regenerative agriculture can heal our land, our climate, and our communities. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3.

A Looming Threat

Sometime in the next 60 years, the world is projected to run out of topsoil. We are heading toward a day when farmers simply cannot grow food — resulting, perhaps, in wars over the last arable ground, and people starving not because they are too poor to purchase food, but because there is simply no food to buy. What is causing this predicament? …


The World We Eat, Part 3

This is the third installment in a series of articles looking at how regenerative agriculture can heal our land, our climate, and our communities. Read part 1, part 2, and part 4.

Note: The words “bison” and “buffalo” often refer to the same species, Bison bison. While it’s generally considered standard to call these animals bison, Dan O’Brien exclusively calls them buffalo, and I have chosen to use his word throughout this article for consistency.

Regenerative by Nature

It was the first time I’d ever touched a buffalo. I was squatting on a spare tire in the back of a rusty pickup, bouncing…


The World We Eat, Part 2

This is the second in my series of articles about the regenerative agriculture movement. Read part 1, part 3, and part 4.

EcoSun Prairie Farms

For ecologist Dr. Carter Johnson, the sound of frogs is a signal that he’s doing things right. “We would restore some of the wetlands in one year, and then the next year, there were so many frogs you could hardly hear yourself think,” he boasts. He is telling me about the seven years he spent experimenting with grassland farming: a model of agriculture that makes farming and conservation two parts of the same goal.

Dr. Johnson is a…


The World We Eat, Part 1

This is the first installment in a series of articles looking at how regenerative agriculture can heal our land, our climate, and our communities. Read part 2, part 3, and part 4.

The Project

As I log on to Zoom, I try to suppress a twinge of nervousness. This is, I hope, the first of many conversations I will have with farmers from around the country. I’ve committed to writing a series of articles about the regenerative agriculture movement-an alternative farming philosophy that offers hope to our worn-out food system. …


In November 2016, I was a bright-eyed 18-year-old, proud of myself for being “an engaged citizen.” I’d attended my state’s primary caucus earlier that year, registered to vote, and mailed in my absentee ballot (I was living overseas at the time). I thought I was doing a pretty good job of changing the world.

“A pretty good job” means something different to me today. Every election shapes history, but 2020’s sure feels unique. Among other reasons: if we don’t elect people who will take drastic action for the climate, then we waste 4 years that we will never get back…


I lean into the white picket fence surrounding my neighbor’s backyard. I watch her two young children race around the play set, shouting from the top of the slide and bouncing rubber balls across the grass. As they play, content with this sunny day, free from school, my neighbor and I talk, standing six feet apart.

There isn’t much to discuss except the coronavirus. We both express our shock at how fast our lives have gone from normal to a terrifying standstill. We agree — we should be writing this all down.

When her children grow up, will they remember…


Last week, I woke up to another barrage of online news proclaiming a climate apocalypse. It was too much — I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. Not for the first time, I thought: I could give this all up. I could go back to worrying about grades and friendships and summer jobs, like a normal college student. In that moment, ignorance sounded so blissful.

But I really don’t have a choice anymore. Contemplating, researching, and protesting ecological destruction are part of my life. Although it sounds depressing, it’s not just about avoiding catastrophe. …


The moral price of destroying our home.

I come to the intersection that would lead me back to my warm dormitory, but I don’t turn my feet toward home. The night is bitter cold, with a windchill plummeting to -22°F. I’m wearing only thin jogging pants below my waist; the skin on my legs burns and then becomes numb. I don’t care. I keep walking. This is my world. This is the world. I want to live in it. I want to love it.

The one thing most people know about me is that I am obsessed with climate change…


Yes, every little thing you do for the planet matters — but not in the way you think.

As a member of Generation X, I have grown up under a constant pressure to be “green.” Like many of my peers, I learned to use the term before I was really sure what it meant. Was I supposed to plant trees? Recycle? Ride my bike? I had the feeling that the word meant something bigger, but it was used so often, and in so many different contexts, that it felt more confusing than inspiring. If I’m honest, it still feels that…


Why our fight for the climate needs to start with our forks.

I remember the first time I truly encountered my food. A born-and-raised city kid, I was on a backpacking trip at Isle Royale National Park. My group had hiked for miles atop the rugged ridge of the island, and we arrived at our destination during the hottest part of the day. We stumbled into the Chickenbone Lake campsite, ready to pitch our tents and collapse into a needed rest. That is, until I heard someone shout “berries!” …

Mia Werger

22-year-old student and environmental activist. I believe in the power of value-based communities and regenerative agriculture to restore a balanced planet.

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