Christine is a writer and nutrition counselor based in New York. She's worked for Ancient Nutrition and the Dr. Axe team for five years. She has a degree in Education with a concentration in English from Iona College, and received her health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
By Christine Ruggeri
This year, Ancient Nutrition announced its commitments to sustainability and regenerative agriculture through its initiation of the R.A.N.C.H. Project. The program stands for our three commitment pillars: Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition & Climate Health, and it’s a first-of-its-kind solution.
The R.A.N.C.H. Project was created to help build healthy topsoil, reduce waste and sequester carbon dioxide, all while supporting the company’s mission to transform the health of every individual on the planet with history’s most powerful superfoods.
As we celebrate Earth Week, we want to share our impactful regenerative goals and climate health commitments, which begin on our certified organic regenerative farms located in Missouri and Tennessee.
Regenerative Agriculture Principles
Although it’s a new-ish name, regenerative agriculture is actually based on centuries-old farming practices. The aim is to enrich the soil and help stall or reverse climate change. This is done by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring soil biodiversity, something that is significantly lacking in conventional agriculture.
Some of the hallmarks of regenerative farming are:
- crop rotations
- using cover crops
- holistic grazing and livestock management
- biodiversity in soil and plant species
- low-till or no-till farming
The practices listed above help to build up levels of beneficial microbes in the soil, which play a major role in soil and crop health.
Does this sound familiar? Just like our gut microbiome needs a balance of different microbes to function properly, so does soil. The issue is that modern farming practices have decimated microorganisms that are critical for maintaining soil health and nutrient levels in the foods we grow and eat.
Partnership with Rodale Institute
Ancient Nutrition has entered into a scientific research partnership with Rodale Institute, a global leader and founder of the Organic and Regenerative movements. As we embark on our 14-year R.A.N.C.H. Project to revolutionize environmental regeneration and healthy food production, Rodale Institute scientists will collaborate with Ancient Nutrition to present the data collected on our 4,000+ acres of regenerative farmland.
We’re incredibly excited to have the support of Rodale Institute, and look forward to transforming the future of farming together. Each initiative we undertake is meant to reduce greenhouse gasses and sequester carbon dioxide that’s already in the atmosphere. Plus, Ancient Nutrition is dedicating one percent of revenue to this project and its goals.
“This partnership with Rodale Institute is a dream come true. I owe much of my natural health lineage to the groundbreaking work of founder J.I. Rodale. Ancient Nutrition and our mission to save the world with superfoods is built upon our desire to lead the revolution of regeneration in body, mind and planet," says co-founder and CEO of Ancient Nutrition, Jordan Rubin.
“The only hope we have for a healthy future lies in our farming practices. We need a transformation of agricultural production, and an evolution of the industry that can have a significant impact on the future of climate health. We could not be more thrilled to have Rodale Institute as our partner in helping to lead the revolution, for good.”
In addition to the ongoing research project, Ancient Nutrition is working with Rodale Institute’s Organic Consulting Service to transition a portion of their land to Regenerative Organic Certified™, the highest standard in regenerative organic agriculture.
Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 and has become a global leader in the regenerative organic agriculture movement through research, farmer training, and consumer education.
2022 Regenerative Goals that Make an Impact
Our company commitments to the environment include the following:
1. Be carbon negative.
Through purchased offsets and regenerative agriculture initiatives, we aim to be carbon negative by 2024, which means that we will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than what we emit.
2. Plant one million trees.
We will plant one million superfood-bearing perennial trees, bushes, vines and shrubs as part of the Million Member Regenerative Food Forest. Starting this year, each Ancient Nutrition product purchase supports the planting of these superfoods on our 4,000+ acres of certified organic, non-GMO land.
3. Reduce plastic use and waste.
We aim to reduce company produced plastic and waste by 25 percent by 2024, while transitioning to more sustainable packaging and marketing material solutions. So far, we’re no longer using plastic neck-band safety seals or outer cartons for our bottled products. We are also switching our canisters over from hard PET to HDPE, which uses 25 percent less plastic.
4. Launch seed-saving initiative.
We are launching a major seed-saving initiative to future-proof regenerative farming by collecting and banking seeds from every harvest on our 100+ species Heirloom, Native and Exotic Superfood Farm. We will also be collecting food waste and seeds from local organizations, diverting them from the landfill.
5. Support Mully Children’s Family.
We are continuing to support the world-changing non-profit organization Mully Children’s Family in order to help end poverty, hunger, homelessness and human trafficking, while planting trees to fight climate change.
Here are some of our 2021 highlights:
- Planted 250,000 native superfood bearing trees, vines, shrubs, and plants.
- Composted 444,000 pounds of eggshells — that’s over 200 tons!
- Donated 2,300 bottles of product to disaster relief.
- Reduced 25 percent in plastic usage — that’s over 72,643 pounds of plastic saved!
- Collected 5.5 million gallons of rainwater — stored in our 30+ ponds across our two properties.
Started our “Trash to Treasure” Program to procure and divert food waste & potentially other compostable materials to create healthy soil - 25,820 pounds of food waste diverted from landfills in less than 3 months!
We’ve come so far already with our two certified organic properties that are run using regenerative farming and permaculture practices. We are working to improve soil health, water quality, livestock health, carbon sequestration and more — all to benefit our environment and overall health.