The documentary Kiss the Ground helped raise public awareness about regenerative agriculture. This no-till farming method helps restore the complex biology of topsoil and produces many public health and environmental benefits, such as boosting diversity and sequestering carbon. But finding regeneratively grown foods can still be challenging depending on where you live.
Narrated by actor and environmentalist Woody Harrelson, “Kiss the Ground” is a film about soil health and regenerative agriculture that received much acclaim upon its 2020 release. It was the first time many Americans learned that there are responsible alternatives to industrial agricultural practices that deplete the soil of nutrients and pollute waterways with silt, pesticides, and nitrogen fertilizers. Since the film debuted, numerous organizations and companies, including big-name brands and retailers, have committed to boosting the regeneratively grown food market.
If you’re ready to start filling your shopping cart with regeneratively grown foods, the trick is to know where to find them.
Which Stores Carry Regeneratively Labeled Foods?
With at least six verified regenerative agriculture labels now available to help consumers, it’s getting easier to identify regeneratively grown foods on grocery store shelves. A few grocers stand out in their support of regeneratively grown foods.
Retailers taking major steps to advance regenerative agriculture include Sprouts Farmers Market, Natural Grocers, and Walmart, according to The Organic and Non-GMO Report. Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market is also a leader in this space.
Look for “regenerative” labeled products in grocery store aisles or on store websites.
Sprouts Farmers Market
One of the largest and fastest-growing specialty retailers of fresh, natural, and organic food in the country with more than 380 stores in 23 states, Sprouts Farmers Market is educating customers about regeneratively grown products.
Shoppers can visit Sprouts for Regenerative Organic Certified brands, such as Horizon, Maple Hill, and Nature’s Path Organic.
Whole Foods Market
Since the 1980s, Whole Foods Market has been a purveyor of natural and organic foods and committed to sustainable agriculture. Now with more than 500 stores in North America, the company supports regeneratively labeled products and is working to build customer trust in these products. The company encourages its suppliers to adopt regenerative agriculture practices if they haven’t already.
Seeking More Options
Regenerative product labeling is still a work in progress because there is no U.S. standard in place. Still, the labels can be helpful when finding your way to environmentally responsible options at many grocers around the nation.
“You can find some [regeneratively grown] products just about everywhere,” said Lisa Mabe, marketing and communications lead at Land to Market. “In addition to Whole Foods Market and Sprouts, they are also at Natural Grocers, MOM’s Organic Market, Walmart, Target, HEB, Fresh Market, and Amazon.com, among many others.”
Mabe also recommends specific brands to seek out, including Applegate, Alec’s Ice Cream, General Mills, and Alexandre Eco Dairy, all of which are Land To Market verified.
“Labeled products and brands are carried at over 1,000 retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, and independent natural and organic food retailers and cooperatives,” explained Katie Amos, director of communications and outreach for A Greener World’s Certified Regenerative label. “Companies and farms that carry [the Greener World label] include Zack’s Mighty Tortilla Chips, A2 Grassfed Milk, Challacombe Farm, and Park Farming Organics, among others.”
Check out A Greener World’s online directory for a complete list of products and locations where they are available.
Buy Directly From Farmers
The lack of one consistent label to verify that products are grown using regenerative agriculture practices can be confusing to consumers.
Sara Harper, CEO and founder of Grounded Growth, co-manager of Global Food & Farm Community, and host of Tasting Terroir Podcast encourages consumers to learn where their food comes from and how it is grown. This means having a relationship with the farmers. She would like to see a purchasing model that reunites consumers with farmers like what existed in the past.
“You can’t really know if something is regenerative unless you know the farmers,” Sara stated. “Labels are helping with big bulk sourcing, but the best way for consumers to get regeneratively grown products is to get them directly from farmers. You can ask what they are doing, and they are willing to share test results.”
Many regenerative farms sell their products online, such as flour, pasta, beef, and more. The network that Sara helps run, Global Food & Farm Community, features farmers and food companies that have built a partnership with farmers who have a solid track record of regenerative growing practices.
These databases can also help you find regenerative farms and ranches in your area:
- Organic Consumers Association’s Regenerative Farm Map
- Regenerative Farmers of America
- Soil Health Academy’s Regen Foods Directory
You Can Help Grow the Regenerative Food Market
Purchasing regenerative-agriculture-labeled products and buying directly from farmers and ranchers will help support more sustainable food production. You can also take action to help keep the regeneratively grown food market expanding.
- Learn more and watch documentaries, such as Kiss the Ground, To Which We Belong, and The Biggest Little Farm. Read books like For the Love of Soil, Dirt to Soil, and Growing a Revolution.
- Educate others about choosing regenerative food products and why they are healthier and better for the planet.
- Ask brands to display information about their regenerative farming practices.
- Encourage grocers to highlight regeneratively labeled products in advertisements and in stores, and to organize special events like tastings and speakers.
- Support nonprofit partners backing the labels, such as A Greener World, Regenerative Organic Alliance, and the Savory Institute’s Land To Market.
- Visit farms and purchase from CSAs that engage in regenerative agricultural practices to see first-hand what it means. Some farms provide tours or field days open to the public.