Regenerative organic agriculture pioneer Rodale Institute on Thursday released a new white paper calling for a new paradigm in taking care of our bodies and the planet: “regenerative healthcare.”
The nonprofit, which pioneers best practices at its organic farm research center sitting on 333 acres of farmland in Kutztown, Pa., created the white paper with The Plantrician Project, calling themselves “leaders in the regenerative agriculture and healthcare system transformation movements.”
The white paper lays blame on the U.S. food system for contributing to “epidemic levels” of chronic disease and lowered immune systems, and points to regenerative organic agriculture as a possible solution.
“Rather than relying on toxic chemicals to solve agricultural issues and pharmaceutical intervention to manage chronic lifestyle-related disease, regenerative healthcare aims to prevent disease and regenerate life through an organic, whole-foods, plant-forward diet that begins on farms that work in harmony with nature,” said the paper.
The paper, which makes nine recommendations for the integration of food and healthcare, said regenerative healthcare envisions farming and healthcare working together “to inform a prevention-based approach to human and environmental health.”
“While many Americans are living longer than their parents, they are not living healthier or happier lives. Lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are on the rise as the standard American diet has come to consist of mostly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat,” said the white paper. “Despite a clear link between food and health, the healthcare system underprioritizes nutrition education for medical students and diet-based treatment plans.”