Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 89 – Dr. Yichao Rui, Senior Soil Scientist, Rodale Institute, on Soil Regeneration
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 89 - Dr. Yichao Rui, Senior Soil Scientist, Rodale Institute, on Soil Regeneration

Dr. Yichao Rui, senior soil scientist at the Rodale Institute, discusses the recently published, peer-reviewed white paper: “Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution.” This all-important (and beautifully presented) study shows the pathway for climate stabilization through regenerative agricultural practices. Dr. Rui also discusses the “Regenerative Organic Certification” – an independent third party regime that incorporates both environmental sustainability and social equity metrics into its analysis. All of this is grounded in restoring and supporting the plant/root relationships with the soil microbiology – without which our agriculture, our food production, our well-being, and our civilization are threatened by collapse. The axiom is simple: SOIL HEALTH = HUMAN HEALTH.

However, Dr. Rui’s enthusiasm for regenerative agriculture goes well beyond the carbon sequestration imperative (which is, of course, sufficient in its own right to justify the whole-sale adoption of regenerative practices). The soil regeneration and land stewardship advocated by Dr. Rui also yields much higher food nutrition (read: immune-boosting, cognitive performance enhancing, quality of life increasing), the elimination of brain-disrupting, cancer-causing, soil-destroying toxic chemicals (which are also the primary cause of the multi-million acre ocean “dead zones” found at the mouths of major rivers world-wide), and biodiversity restoration. This is the pathway to feeding the world healthy, nutritious, sustainable food while also stabilizing the climate, reversing the terrible species die-off, and healing and restoring rural economies.

Dr. Rui, a native of China, quotes Confucius (and shares the origins of his children’s names), and tells us that “Regeneration is a journey.” One might consider how this wisdom not only applies to the imperative to transform and transcend toxic chemical agriculture, but other aspects of our lives and communities as well. Dr. Rui tells us how humility, how caring for each other, and how cultivating a connection with the living soil is key to thriving and sustainability. From holistic grazing to perennial pasture systems, and from cover cropping to no/low tillage, the “Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution” white paper provides actionable steps for (1) Eaters, (2) Farmers, and (3) Policy Makers – which will restore biodiversity, improve water quality, increase fertility, expand the in situ carbon stock, and reverse climate change.

At the end of this insightful and essential discussion is a short video that Dr. Rui made with his boys about composting for one of their elementary school classes – enjoy! 🙂

White Paper: https://rodaleinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/Rodale-Soil-Carbon-White-Paper_v9.pdf
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yichaorui
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yichao-rui-b36a9310b/

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