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Carbon Wealth and What's For Dinner: Paganism and the Land

And what would happen if we all bought meat from producers who did not disturb the soil? Herbivores don't need to eat grain, and in fact it's very bad for them. The conversion of croplands to pasture can add 0.2 to 0.5 tons of soil carbon per acre each year. Pasture soils in the Northeast U.S. alone currently store as much as 425 million tons of carbon—that's 1500 million metrics tons of CO2. Nor is there a limit to that storage potential. All that is needed is to continue to build healthy, carbon-rich soil. When an herbivore takes one—and only one—bite of grass, that grass sheds some root, which then breaks down into loam and re-grows, thicker than before. In that loam is carbon, carbon that the plant has pulled from the atmosphere and that is now bound into the soil. Well-managed grassland can tie up as much (or more) carbon as the same amount of forest. Increased loam also absorbs and holds more water, which reduces flooding and mitigates the effects of drought, both major concerns.

There was a time in United States history where nearly everyone grew some of their own food. Pagans are uniquely suited to lead in restoring this behavior to normal.

7/23/2014 4:00:00 AM
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