Happy Regenuary

Monday 12th December 2022

Happy Regenuary! The month when we celebrate the sustainable eating movement gathering momentum. 

Started by our friends The Ethical Butcher, it’s the month to consider the impact of everything you eat and try to source as much as possible from regenerative farming.

It’s also the same month when over a quarter of a million people will be taking part in Veganuary – the campaign encouraging participants to try veganism for the 31 days of January. But is there a way to focus on what unites us rather than what divides us? 

Homegrown vegetables

Whether you’re supporting Veganuary or Regenuary, everyone should be advocating for nutritious food, farmed in tune with nature, that’s accessible to all.  

Many believe that industrial agriculture and monocrops – whether part of plant-based or animal-based foods – are not the answers we’re looking for. This is why the trend for factory-made ultra-processed foods, many with the prefix ‘plant-based,’ is even more worrying for us, as a nation. Ultra-processed products are now half of all UK family food purchases, more than any other country in Europe. 

The term ‘plant-based’ has been hijacked by people who don’t want us to eat meat, says Yeo Valley Organic’s Tim Mead, who is steadfast about soil and regenerative organic farming. Tim believes that ‘plant-based’ has become a byword for ‘save the planet’ and that recent messaging has overtaken everything we’ve learned from a million years of nature. And it’s helping to drive up “ultra-processed foods, which are essentially new creations of the food industry with very low-cost ingredients in a very attractive product,” says Tim. 

He adds: “There is no quick fix to repairing the planet, but just growing and eating plants, and indeed overly processed plant-based alternatives to meat are not the answer. A balanced mixed livestock farming system is the goal. This isn’t new, regenerative organic farming practices mirror ancient farming techniques which were common pre-war when farmers were considered to be heroes not part of the problem.” 

Balanced recipes using fresh, regenerative ingredients

Here are some top tips for you to support Regenuary.

Look out for: 

  • produce which has been farmed and produced using regenerative agriculture – including meat and vegetables
  • sourcing and cooking with seasonal produce – it’ll be at its best quality too! 
  • try and buy items that have been grown locally to reduce excessive food miles
  • avoid imported foods

For more information about regenerative organic farming visit our dedicated website and checkout the Netflix documentary dedicated to regenerative farming, Kiss the Ground.

Comments on “Happy Regenuary”

  • It is important to acknowledge the state of the naturally slow development of ‘Homo sapiens’ body complexities and that a ‘clean’ diet is where our mass evolutionary ordinary digestive system and other corporal body systems have reached, as well as when considering what we are better suited ‘to eat’ within what is a relatively short period of time before the Fast and Junk Food assault on our body systems ended up with rampant obesity, even in children, in our current society. The whip-fast changes the public have expected our bodies to accept without affects and effects of comparatively rapidly changing methods of farming more regeneratively, with regulations of what has been put into the soil and animal feed, with agricultural and veterinary usage of substances of all applications that were allowed and damaging; they need carefully and thoroughly revised by scientists and farmers alike.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, but a complete plan with some form of date application to guide voluntary Farmers, as well as any necessary forms of further distinction, such as ‘organic and sustainably grown or produced’ foodstuffs i.e. (O&S) needs to be applied.

    I think it is important that those involved already in ‘organic’ ventures, which uptake is governed by ‘price of purchase’ be fully realized too, because there are many of us who would buy all that we could that are sustainable and/or organic products at a price we could afford, but cannot.

    I would estimate and say that, after the 2008 monetary crash, gradually from common press and media dietary education, those who can afford to buy ‘organic’ products have risen in number. However, there are many single people and families who would dearly love to be in that ‘price bracket’ who cannot. There is more than a Financial Gap in the status quo of modern Britain as a whole. The difference between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ grows wider, quite apart from willful ignorance by some that was evident in the behaviour of many parents who rejected Jamie Oliver’s hard work to improve children’s health and learning via the content of ‘School Meals’. Deterioration concerning our basic ‘fuel of life’ [our diet] has led, not to longevity, but increasing expense for the Govt.’s coffers via the public’s donated Taxations, resulting in a lot of ‘ill health’ which our N.H.S. can no longer cope with due to a vast increase in demand via the growth of a now even less healthier population since the late 1990’s. It is therefore extremely important that TV Programmes such as “Countryfile” can deliver and needs a great deal more than the solitary programme I’ve viewed on said programme about ‘Regenerative farming’ to date> Remember our wise HRH Royal Queen Elizabeth said: “Seeing is believing.” Plus for those who are already in a position to use as much force of attraction and gentle guile as can be to inform the public of the potential health values of the method, but not just concerning plants but the need for change in reform using regenerative farming to cater for all in our naturally omnivorous society. The public need to know it is not just some strange whim or latest Fad/Trend such as Veganism, which processed foods may leave a lot to be desired if questioned.

    We lived longer and stronger, except those who had occupations that incurred such as lung-damage from mining, whatever, that directly caused ill-health. For although modern progressiveness one might think leads to longevity, outside of environmental issues that cause illness or kill such as pollutants and Pandemics et al have in fact led to loss of strength, ‘good health’ and longevity. Also, as ever, the ‘Cost of Living’ versus escalating food prices play a large and significant part in the maintenance of ‘good health’ ~For example, the lack of foods and their variety in Urban-living parts of the country during and for several years after WW11.

    Practices, well known in England’s North country habit of supplementing the diet by keeping a family pig, (more universally elsewhere rabbits for the pot), and growing large leeks in the back-yard of manual laborers living in “two-up and two-down” terraced houses in Industrial areas, disappeared around the advent of adding a ‘lean-to’ or ‘inside house’ WC’s, which also coincided with the loss of our general agricultural heritage that began around going into the turn of 20th-century – little more than a modern expected Life-time ago.

    Many of those who are invested in the popularity of ‘well being’ are more often than not, within the confines of education and resultant affordability, are the minority whom are more able to buy whatever they prefer. However, it is the Farming Industry who supplies for the public majority who are presently far less than well off financially, due to the galloping ‘Energy Crisis’ (Added Cost of 30 Energy Companies’ Bail-outs), which is warping the Cost-of-Living.

    There is a real need to promote how what is both grown and animal husbandry maybe from the increasingly erstwhile ‘Allotment’ and/or ‘Small-holding’ as with gardeners who are passionate people whose methods have hardly altered over the years, to help promote what is grown and produced by Regenerative Farming.

    I write as someone who lived without running water or electricity on insufficient land in a then agreeable Mediterranean climate with a view to ‘self-sufficiency’ in Menorca, Baleares, in the late 1960’s for two-and-a-half years. We had fruit trees and I imported pheasants, but the pigs and Bantams were wonderfully colourful Anglicized cockerels from nearly one hundred years’ English occupation with only a seventeen years French intervention history as cock-fighters with natural spurs. The aggressive knob-headed Guinea fowls were originally from Guinea and the laying hens were remarkably precocious of age to table, as were the neighbours local rabbits ~ very good cooked in a bunch of herbs and white wine. The Turkeys were an intriguing mixed breed of English black and South American brown wild Turkey descent. Turkey eggs for tea were on offer to guests. I was an experience I was lucky to have in my life and perhaps why what happened and happens to our agriculture really matters to me. Only my age and stage prevents me from doing it somewhere all again.

    Helen Knowles on 7th January 2023 at 12:23 pm

  • So agree about plant based processed food not good for the planet or probably people. Eating local real food, veg and meat will heal planet and health

    Anonymous on 5th January 2023 at 5:12 pm

  • Yes love yeo

    Hazel on 5th January 2023 at 5:04 pm

  • Good to hear someone not talking bull but telling us about the bull we are bombarded with by the food industry that specialises in the use of several ingredients to sell its wares…..water,salt, sugar, air…..and any other cheap available filler……great little blog……which answers a question I was going to raise about free range milk which I take to mean it is milk from grazing cows and not zero grazed cows.

    Anonymous on 5th January 2023 at 2:55 pm

  • A afterthought,which I think is relevant- money is the root to purchasing and economic freedom without or limited amounts restricts your purchasing selection-/abilities wanting to help the environment is great and buying locally etc just might not be a option

    Anonymous on 5th January 2023 at 2:27 pm

  • Less intensive farming methods is obvious and needed, but economics both in farming from the producers point of view and the consumer- needs must- Regenuary farming / Production Consumer means increase costs- a lot of people may like and support the concept but can they afford.- I’ve always been in favour or Rotations of land , less pesticides/ insecticides etc and alternative means of feeding the soil besides manure

    Anonymous on 5th January 2023 at 2:18 pm

  • We all need to fully support our local farmers and British farmers..the farmers and workers in the farms are the backbone of this country..we need them all for our food..fruit and vegetables, meat

    Colin charlton on 5th January 2023 at 12:43 pm

  • A nice sensible report with great message to all!

    Linda Loring on 5th January 2023 at 12:33 pm

  • Good to see that you are moving steadily onwards and upwards, joining the increasing number of farmers who have recognised that the way to go is to learn from and (wherever possible) emulate what nature does. Nature has been getting things right for millennia. Huge agribusiness is not the way. Thousands of medium and small sized mixed farms ARE the way. Local food for local people. Community Supported Agriculture. Animals out doors where they should be. Good rotational practices. Ditch the ploughing. Discard the chemicals and encourage natural forces to deal with “pests.” I spend much time campaigning for and supporting a number of Regen groups; and in poorer countries, those using permaculture, agrofrestry, sylvopasture, holistic/mob grazing and other associated practices to feed their villagers – not to grow vast acres of stuff they are forced to export to the West.

    Mrs V Soar on 5th January 2023 at 11:20 am

  • I so agree with you. Over processed, overpriced plant based the latest fad manufacturers have endorsed since gluten free. All designed to make them more money.

    Anonymous on 5th January 2023 at 10:51 am

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