Food - Drink
Indigenous Agricultural Practices May Be The Alternative To Plant-Based Protein
With the rise of environmentally-friendly meat alternatives, it might seem like vegetarianism is the way of the future, but as it turns out, the key to sustainable agriculture might lie in our past. Returning to Indigenous agricultural practices could help create a global farming industry and meat industry that are environmentally sustainable, without giving up steaks.
Indigenous agriculture is based on farming in harmony with nature rather than in opposition to it. One of the best ways to do this is through polycultures, which means planting multiple symbiotic crops together; considering that most of the world’s cropland is used to grow animal feed, polycultures can make the meat industry more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
Another method is agroforestry, which, similar to polycultures, highlights the importance of reintroducing variation into the landscape by cultivating trees, food crops, and livestock on the same land. Not only does this practice decrease the carbon footprint of feeding these livestock, but raising harmonious livestock species allows farmers to support more animals in total.
Lastly, there is the traditional method of regenerative grazing, which is the Blackfeet practice of rotating herds of bison through multiple pastures, allowing the soil and vegetation time to regenerate. Together, these practices can help make the meat industry more sustainable, and perhaps even as environmentally friendly as meat alternatives.