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Is regenerative agriculture egg-zactly what the planet needs?


From The Hustle

Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

In this sustainability story, it’s the chicken.

According to Bloomberg, American farmers are tackling the $6.1B US egg industry by raising chickens with regenerative agriculture, resulting in “climate-friendly eggs.”

What is regenerative agriculture?

Modern agriculture was responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, per the EPA.

Regenerative agriculture improves soil’s organic matter and biodiversity through farming and grazing techniques. This healthier soil holds more water and -- most importantly -- draws carbon into the earth. (See this handy illustrated video.)

The Rodale Institute, a nonprofit that researches organic agriculture, suggests it could even reverse climate change.

Will people buy sustainable eggs?

Demand for specialty eggs -- cage-free, free-range, etc -- already makes up ⅓ of the industry and are projected to grab 70% in 5 years, per Bloomberg.

While regen eggs aren’t cheap (~$8 per dozen), Big Food is getting into it:

  • General Mills has committed to 1m acres of regenerative farmland by 2030.
  • At the UN Climate Summit in 2019, 19 companies -- including Kellogg, Nestlé, and Google -- agreed to protect and restore biodiversity through practices that include scaling regenerative agriculture.
  • In 2020, The Nature Conservancy, Target, McDonald’s, and Cargill launched an $8.5m investment into 100k acres of land in Nebraska, potentially trapping 150k metric tons of CO2.

For a sample of how this works, check out Applegate Farms' regenerative agriculture sausages.

Chicken, Eggs, Environment, Farmers, food, Regenerative Agriculture, Soil, Sustainability


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