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Establishing agricultural resilience is accomplished through creating a healthy and nimble system with diverse redundancy. The resulting Resilient Agriculture, fka Regenerative, is the practical implementation of that understanding gained from millenniums of trial & error, and more recently through bleeding edge innovation which looks closely at the broad reaching values we earn by being part of nature instead of trying to forcibly control it. The process relies on the science of biomimicry which is based simply on the understanding of the regenerative toolkit intrinsic to nature and ecology.

Atop of the food web, we are what we eat. Moreover, underpinning agricultural resilience circular in nature must be the health of each part of the food chain. The realization that we’re (all trophic levels) dependent on each other for the wellbeing of the system as a whole can be best described as a OneHealth shared amongst human, animal, planet and environment.

The most pragmatic place to begin commitment to regenerative agriculture is at the top of the food chain – where proper practices invest in the health & humane treatment of the food animal.  As results accrue and compound with value creation to the largest sector of our food system, associated farming practice deliver greater sustenance and reduction of risk through greater commitment to soils and systems. Within this interconnected web, each link can be directly correlated to our health, and gained throughout a shrinking planet for which we’re now responsible for shepherding the sanctity of system as a whole.

Conversely, practices of current conventional agriculture employed domestically with near singularity are best described as less farming and more resource mining. Our abundance of natural resources in North America has long since afforded domestic food production opportunity to take without clear perspective on long-term viability, nor accountability for increased reliance on inputs or environmental impact of externalities. Now, from practice of excessive use of these expensive and corrosive inputs, we’ve become hooked on a synthetic model of production that is cheap in food cost but expensive to the health of our society and the regenerative systems of the planet.

When results of detrimental agricultural practice are incurred on soils more populated than our own, we’ve witnessed what happens – we’ve seen the direct outcomes, and despite it being counterintuitive or potentially nonsensical – we press on. Even in our bounty of riches that increasingly proves further exhausted, we see a Malthusian catastrophe looming.  We’ve only just begun to realize we’re no longer an island, and the commitment to practices of sacrificing food values for product price will be increasingly detrimental throughout the entire interconnected web. Countering BigAg brethren – the key to feeding 9 Billion by 2050 will be through supporting and investing in systems of natural resilience. For future ‘modern’ food production, Niederhelman proclaims “the only future we’ve got for production of our food is a sustainable one.”  With that, it’s essential to strike a happy medium in maximizing production efficiency without sacrificing food’s nutritional value nor compromising our safety or that of the environment to the broader exposure to a synthetic addiction. If done properly, those practices intrinsic to resilient agriculture are by rule sustainable as they live in accordance to refined methods of the natural order that they serve.

Through systematically servicing evolving consumer demand with quantifiable results, these best sustainable agricultural practices not only source higher quality food for the benefit of human health, but they fuel a future innovation & circular economy stimulated by attracting grander global market share. During this transition to broader resilient agriculture, the unintended consequences of adopting these food production models will prove not increasingly negative as seen in current conventional, but with net positive results. When incentivized, or when required (which is expedited the longer we wait), we’ve witnessed a few bellwethers of success that present our inevitable future can be profitable and broadly beneficial if instituted with proactive anatomy. These inevitable evolutions of farming operations more circular and less linear become increasingly cost-effective while bearing less of a footprint on environment & soil. The future approach to food will be the leading force of greater OneHealth resilience.

As the basis of preventative healthcare, we’ve lost our way in sourcing food for its nutriment at the cost of price alone. Proving increasingly taxing on body and land, an allegiance to the cheap food of modern agriculture has mainlined a steroid-era of commoditized foodstuff built on misguided information, immature science and a lack of transparency to the global mainstream. Now, so widespread throughout the Western diet & world is cheap food, most consumers have a compromised appreciation of food values without knowledge of correlated risk or potential adverse effect.

The empirical evidence of our ill society is proving that an overfed and undernourished people is costly with upkeep.  With the lowest percentage of discretionary income allocated to food in the developed world, Americans now spend less money on what sustains us while allocating more than ever before on reactionary healthcare. We must assess the validity of placing our entire nutritional security over the long-haul on a single approach of fundamentally unproven agricultural practice.  Proven depleting and expensive with waste, the longevity of current conventional food production in the United States, and now abroad, will continue to prove more challenged.

Furthermore, propagating the only failed diet in the history of mankind for the short-term monetary benefit of distributing cheap food, atwhatcost will be incurred before the Western diet is recognized for its role as culprit of misgiving and instigator of modern plagues found in form of chronic illness, obesity and habitual poor eating habits? Teeming with the uncalculated cost of externalities to human and planetary health – the basis of our current food system so dependent on price over value is a false economy in dire need of reflection.

In the last half century, we’ve seen incredible advancements in human care & life sciences. What’s most peculiar, or potentially premise for these forced advancements in responsive care, the process we use to craft our nutrient security has not progressed.  In fact, the opposite has proven true. The cheaper we make the volumes of food servicing the expanding Western diet, the more of these modern plagues and food safety risks we incur. Simply, we need a paradoxical change in remedying what ails us. That stems from the notion that it’s not caloric; it’s about sustenance – and when we all understand this simple rule, sourcing becomes the fix to many of the problems in the food system, and greater well-being of body and planet result from food production insight.

Aside just remediating production integrity concerns, there’s incredible opportunity to build innovation economies that institute efficiency to a current arcane food system. With dead loss on perishables and food waste now topping 40% of all foodstuff that reaches the supply chain – sourcing foodstuff is ripe with potential advancement. Furthermore, our linear perspective of agriculture that currently does not take into account the many environmental externalities directly associated to food production is quickly becoming one of the largest contributors to climate change, biodiversity loss, and water contamination. When we evaluate the whole picture, our food is not cheap at all,  but instead very expensive with diverse economic loses.  The remedy to heal exponentially growing human, planetary and economic expense comes by returning focus to best sourcing practice and further connecting consumer awareness to the food they eat.  This type of beneficial public and private initiative in and of itself is prepared for financial innovation.

Niederhelman sets to take a proactive approach in Food System reform through promoting the production of higher quality food as primary, preventive healthcare with mutually beneficial results. Through focusing investment in food for its broad values to society, culture, environmental and consumer benefit – Aaron believes a commitment to remediating consumer blind credulity afforded to the current food system which was designed to source energy and not nutriment, will be cornerstone to broader food system reform.

The quality of our health begins with the plants & animals upon which we feed, and calculating a true cost of cheap foodstuff to that of the wellbeing of the whole system is imperative in establishing consumer awareness to the Western diet. From corruption of synthetic contamination -to- risk of toxic exposure -to- intrinsic loss of nutriment, our US food system destined to be inherited by generation next is rife with concern. Not evaluating nutritional significance and planetary impact from food, Aaron has argued, to be a leading long-horizon national security concern.

As a shrinking World teeters on the cusp of political and environmental instability, impossible is it now for anyone to consider a planet of boundless growth. Earth will remain a finite resource of no unclaimed terra, nor further exploration into a great unknown.  Equally important to this realization is the fact that there’s no far reaching “never-never” land to continue to exploit nor buffer the impact of our exploding waste stream.

Effectively, since empowered to enact freewill on our surrounding, and the correlated adoption of hubris in believing we have control of the systems that contain us – mankind has been a terrible shepherd.  It’s becoming evidently clear to those in susceptible areas who’ve been forced to pay attention, and soon for all of us sharing the same interconnected environment, we must do better living within the rules set forth by regenerative systems. If we do not heed the warnings and act proactively, we’ll fall victim to a required recognition that depleting finite resources of planetary boundaries will be expensive if not catastrophic in recovery.
For the most fundamental human needs of food & water – the additional costs of mining sea & soil without replenishing systems needed for self-sustaining nutrient cycling in all trophic levels has created a perpetual and non regenerative waste-stream. With no scope nor expectation of repayment of these taxes, we’ve externalized the “true costs” of cheap food & water that will incrementally lessen the vitality of the whole system the longer we maintain an addiction.

Truth is, by not accounting for the true costs of externalities in the staples we’ve grown accustom – food, water & energy – we’re bending the resilience of the ecological & planetary boundaries keeping the whole system afloat. As a universal truth in rectifying these impacts – consumers must become more immersed in the facts. With greatest potential to be most intimate to us all, the provenance of food is a most logical place to begin. The affect of what actually reaches your dinner table is far greater than just the resulting personal gain or satisfaction.  Modern production does not account for waste, environmental impact nor ecological footprint – that’s our actuality, but not accountability!  We’ve flattened a circular process into a frozen rope, and our abundance of resources had yet to force concern.  But, increasingly costly with health, wellbeing, stability and monetary expense the longer we wait – we’ll soon be forced to embrace change.

Most in the know will tell you that water will be the conduit of change. Either dealing with sea level rise & storm damage flooding; or a lack of rain in conjunction groundwater exhaustion where deep water aquifer tapping should have us gravely concerned. The potential monetary expense of sea damage in big coastal cities; or loss of stable food security from production mainstays like California and our mid-western breadbasket so reliant on an unsustainable practice of gulping the Ogallala – water (sea & fresh) will drive change quickest. Haunting is the realization of flooded East coast cities or a sequel to the Dust Bowl effecting most susceptible areas with the greatest impact on population densities.

Water may be what expedites change, but the silent killer will surely be our commitment to linear methods decimating the lifeline of biodiversity in macro & ecological microbial life. This broad spectrum biodiversity loss on global scale is mostly unaccounted for at this point. The reality, we’re losing the micor-labor force doing the hard work producing most of the food and cleaning the environment. Further proving itself an exhaustible resource with unforeseen but guaranteed consequence, our stressing regenerative ecological systems by poorly managing natural resources is just bad business. Moreover, and as a call-to-arms for us all, it just lacks commonsense and teems with flat-out hubris to think our amassing species can continue to thrive without playing by the rules of the systems surrounding.

Niederhelman believes that collectively it’s the opportunities in the free-market to deal with concerns of climate, water and biodiversity in a most pragmatic way to drive change. As the basis for future global economies, adopting best practice with new innovation supporting these circular economies of regenerative natural resources is the requirement & potential of future generations.

For the past decade Aaron Niederhelman has been involved in architecting financial vehicles that use capitalism to reinstate nourishment back into food.  Using economic incentive in line with evolving market forces to transition from a current production process fraught with contamination & waste in a rapid enough cadence to rectify human and environmental health through-out, it’s the inevitable that future investment will increasingly lean circular.  As early adopters, the current challenge faced is finding profitable initiatives disruptive to food, water, and waste not in a same conventional genre, but instead by backing pragmatic and systemic innovation focused on food system reform as risk mitigation to US production.

The objective of any circular economy is to reduce the expense of waste in macro & micro environments. This core competency of ecology has been proven to be the keys to the kingdom in developing a fiscally sound approach to a sustainable and not linear future. Investment in circular economies in lockstep with regenerative natural systems can be made in: (i) food system, (ii) resilient agriculture, (iii) sustainable fisheries, (iv) water utilization and (v) alternative energy -where each industry becomes increasingly reliant on narrowing expenses of the energy loop.

Servicing natural order with circular agriculture practice has net positive results. What seems lost to the masses is the knowledge and/or accountability to the fact that current Cheap Food will be impetus for a forced evolution broadly more circular. The fix comes from an ongoing evaluation of system health.  Instead of externalities continuously swept under the rug, each link in the chain is given a calculation of wellbeing in determining a true cost of food. When these current externalized costs become realized, the opportunity is to leverage systemic innovations in production that reduce capital expenditures allocated to waste, and even better, institute additional revenue streams via closing the loop as current waste becomes an energy input and key link in the chain for a complementary circular economy.

We need commitment and infrastructure to evaluate specific agricultural practices deemed most unsafe and/or concerning to our nutritional and national security.  Future global competitiveness will be based on a deepening understanding of the laws of natural order. The opportunity to continue to lead comes from adoption of this reality, by thinking alternatively to our current linear and wasteful process by mitigating mounting risk associated to a shrinking planet.  Long-horizon investors thus must take ownership of proven innovations that diversify our production portfolios of clean food, water and energy to remain responsible to their stakeholders. This approach becomes increasingly circular in thinking and practice with broader investment professional & stakeholder commitment.

Tendering recommendation and strategies for gaining public & private partnership, with the (i) Entrepreneur Agrarian Fund, (ii) Ecology Management Systems, in essays (iii) atWhatCost – Aaron Niederhelman explores how doing well by doing great good is the inevitable future of investing in food production. Through empowering societal awareness to make better decisions in controlling their own well-being & financial state – immersive circular and holistic economies bolstered public & private investment pay for the future of human and planetary health through better agricultural practice. These investments in systemic & technological innovations result in healthy, accessible and fiscally savvy nutrient value for more. Through which, we return food from an afterthought of human existence to a cornerstone of wellbeing & longevity.


Simply, Aaron explains “We must start acting like responsible adults in managing this inherited dowery of earth’s fertility. That’s just commonsense that seems to get strained by tainted short-horizon perspective, hubris and blind credulity.  As part of any estate planning, how is the health of the planet not of greatest concern in passing wealth & security to generations next? Without accounting for the basis of all future economies, the premise of the plan is intrinsically flawed.”