Over at Grist, Anna Lappé talks to the CEO of the Rodale Institute, Timothy LaSalle, about how organic farming can, just possibly, mitigate climate change. Rodale seems to be an increasingly high-profile organic advocacy organization, and LaSalle, who took over less than a year ago, clearly sees climate change as his purview.
“We hold the firm belief that farmers can be our climate-change heroes,” he tells Lappé, who’s herself working on a book about the connections between food and climate change. LaSalle says that organic farming—which he prefers, somewhat strangely, to call “regenerative farming”—builds up soil that can hold far more carbon than what’s left in industrially farmed soils. He attributes this capacity to a fungi called mycorrhiza, which creates a stable, long-term home for carbon, but only on organic farms; chemical fertilizers will kill it, he says.