With the Industrial Revolution and the development of a mechanistic mindset, we have come to view ourselves as entities separate from the earth. In fact, the earth has become a subset from which we extract profits. This attitude has led to industrial farming practices that destroy the land and an industrial food complex that strips the nutrients from the foods we consume. What if we combined the best of science and mechanics with the indigenous understanding that we are dependent on the earth to sustain us? What if we adopted—on a large scale—the regenerative agricultural practices that produce nutrient-rich foods, restore the soil, and remove carbon from the atmosphere?
Dr. Charles Massy is a farmer, writer, and self-professed shit-stirrer. He has managed a 5K-acre sheep and cattle property for the last 40 years and conducted research in the areas of innovation in the Merino sheep and wool industries, regenerative landscape management, and climate change. Charles is a research associate with the Fenner School of Environment and Society at Australian National University and the author of Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth.
Today, Charles joins Ross, Christophe and Paul to explain how the industrial approach damaged his own family farm and how draught and debt led him to the practices of modern regenerative agriculture. He discusses the dangers of economic rationalism and how we can work within the capitalist framework to profit from sustainable practices. Charles offers insight around the lack of nutrients in food produced by the industrial complex, describing the health impacts of processed and fast food as well as the opportunity to reestablish a human connection to our food through community gardens. Listen in to understand how an emergent mind combines the best of science with an indigenous or organic worldview and learn how regenerative farmers and urban consumers can collaborate to initiate the healing process and reverse climate change along the way!
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[1:28] Charles’ path to regenerative agriculture
[6:16] The geology of Australia
[7:58] The indigenous mindset
[10:42] The profitability of regenerative practices
[14:36] The idea of economic rationalism
[19:56] The truth about industrial agriculture
[23:16] The myth around the necessity for industrial ag
[24:57] The cost to consumers for shifting to regenerative
[30:00] The idea of the innovator’s dilemma
[31:53] Charles’ insight on developing an emergent mind
[35:00] How self-interest is tied to sustaining the earth
[37:58] Who Charles is trying to reach
[43:12] How agriculture can take the lead in healing the earth
[45:08] Charles’ take on our spiritual connection to the earth