Chefs for Healthy Soil

NRDC’s Chefs for Healthy Soil is a community working to build a regenerative food system that fosters soil health as a tool to fight climate change.

A chef in a professional kitchen handles bundles of fresh produce

What's At Stake

You can’t eat healthy food unless there’s healthy soil. When soil is healthy, it can filter and conserve water, capture carbon, and feed the microbes that make our food flavorful and nutritious. These are just a few of the ways in which healthy soil plays a pivotal role in nature—and in our food systems.

Every time a chef and their team buy produce, they make choices about the farmers and ranchers they want to support and invest in. By choosing to purchase from growers who cultivate healthy soil, chefs can be climate warriors. These chefs know that healthy soil grows healthy food—and as public awareness for regenerative agriculture increases, more chefs are lending their voices to the conversation of what a more regenerative food system could look like.

It's Time to Rethink Our Food Systems

It is past time that we rethink our food system. 🚜🌾🌽 #California’s agriculture sector was hit especially hard by the pandemic, and it continues to be hit by climate change–including rising temperatures, drought, and wildfires. Moreover, essential farmworkers and the food they create face disproportionate health risks from pollution caused by industrial agriculture, low-income communities continue to grapple with increasing food insecurity, and the transport infrastructure that helps move food from fields to plates is unable to keep up with new market demands! We need a more robust and sustainable food system! Head to voteforyourfood.org to see how we can invest in a 21st-century food and farming future. #SustainableFood #SustainableAgriculture #ClimateChange #ClimateCrisis #FoodInsecurity #FutureAgriculture #FarmingFuture #FutureFarming

Posted by NRDC on Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Through Chefs for Healthy Soil, chefs across the country are joining the regenerative agriculture movement to support transformative food and agriculture policies. Their involvement also helps educate lawmakers, the media, and consumers about the inextricable link between soil health, food quality, and climate change.

What does joining Chefs for Healthy Soil mean?

Joining Chefs for Healthy Soil means adding your name to NRDC’s roster of chef advocates to help us promote policies that recognize healthy soil and regenerative agriculture as solutions to our climate crisis.

We understand the amount of passion you have for healthy food might outpace the amount of time you have to spare. We do our best to make it easy to advocate for a more regenerative food system and your level of engagement can fluctuate with your capacity and willingness to participate. Examples of Chefs for Healthy Soil advocacy may include:

  • Signing onto a comment letter
  • Amplifying actions through social media channels
  • Publishing op-eds
  • Being a guest speaker at events
  • Meeting with legislators
  • Hosting educational events that can also help generate awareness about your restaurant
  • And more

Through this program, chefs may be publicized through our website, media outlets, social media platforms, advocacy events, and to our more than three million members.

Meet Our Chefs

Learn More

An aerial view of rows of different crops on a small farm

Regenerative Agriculture 101

NRDC interviewed more than 100 farmers and ranchers who are building healthy soil and growing climate-resilient communities across the country. This guide incorporates much of what we learned.

A Photo from Our Team Member’s Family Farm in India

Regenerative Agriculture Part 1: The Philosophy

The climate dread was quickly replaced with hope and joy as we learned from Indigenous stewards, Black and Brown farmers, and growers of all shapes, sizes, and in all geographies about how agriculture, and the soil under our feet, can help us combat climate change.

Regenerative Agriculture: Farm Policy for the 21st Century

Farming in harmony with nature fights climate change, improves water quality, and protects biodiversity. NRDC works with growers, ranchers, and community leaders to craft policies for a regenerative farm and food system. 

A man stands below a leafy tree

Fighting Climate Change Through Farming

In Central California, small ranches and farms are growing their connections—to the land, to the past, and to each other.

Soil Matters: How the Federal Crop Insurance Program Should Be Reformed

The FCIP, intended to alleviate risk for farmers, actually drives the agricultural community toward riskier farming methods.

Climate-Ready Soil: How Cover Crops Can Make Farms More Resilient to Extreme Weather Risks

Despite the many benefits of cover crops, only 3 to 7 percent of farms in the United States utilize them.

Glut Employee Searching through Coop Inventory

Nature Thrives with Diversity; CA’s Food Systems Can, Too

Our decisionmakers need to think long-term and tie economic recovery with support for our small- and mid-sized farmers, our essential workers, and climate-smart agriculture programs.

“The Biggest Little Farm”: A Bumpy and Beautiful Road to Farming for a Healthier Planet

As industrial agriculture so often pollutes our soil, water, air, and people, this new documentary spotlights a different way to grow food and raise animals.

Become a Chef for Healthy Soil

Join the movement for healthy soil and a regenerative food system. Take the healthy soil pledge and add your name to NRDC’s Chefs for Healthy Soil.

The Healthy Soil Pledge

“You need healthy soil to grow healthy food. I’m proud to join NRDC and its more than three million supporters to advocate for healthy soil and regenerative agriculture. Healthy soil helps us mitigate climate change, keeps our communities resilient, and builds strong local economies—a win for people and our planet. Please join me in advocating for a food system centered on healthy soil and supporting our regenerative farmers and ranchers.”