World Soil Day: Soil Health is Key to Environmental and Human Health

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World Soil Day: Soil Health is Key to Environmental and Human Health

Greetings from Chicago! Tomorrow, I am joining Google, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other members of the Refresh Working Group to officially launch our report Refresh: Food + Tech from Soil to Supper. The event will explore the role technology can play in the food system, changing the ways we respond to soil erosion, food insecurity, pollution, and over-development.

I’ll have a fireside chat with the former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to talk about the ways in which the U.S. needs to accelerate artificial intelligence for farm technology. I’ll also moderate a panel with Vilsack, Ali Lange of Google, Don Bustos of Santa Cruz Farm, and Ankita Raturi of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tune in to the livestream on December 5 by CLICKING HERE.

Culturally appropriate technologies may play a role in helping farmers better conserve and protect their most important input—soil. Tomorrow, scientists, research organizations, and individuals across the globe will celebrate World Soil Day to recognize how healthy soils impact everything from human health to climate change. Technologies like plant-spotting drones and apps like PlantVillage’s Nuru could ensure that soils and farms stay healthy despite new challenges from climate change.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the world’s topsoil could be completely eroded within the next 60 years if current soil degradation rates continue. And with this current rate of soil degradation, sustainable agriculture, food security, and vital ecosystem services are being compromised.

In order to tackle the issues of climate change as well as global health and food security, all eaters need to recognize the interconnected nature of these systems.

A recent report by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture & Food (TEEBAgriFood) presents a framework to look at the food systems through a holistic lens. With it, the full range of impacts of the food value chain can be seen from a systems perspective—from the farm’s soil to the food’s disposal.

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Danielle NierenbergRead More