About Regeneration

Regeneration means putting life at the center of every action and decision.

The Book


Who We Are

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you, please send us a note!

Dig Deeper

Cascade of Solutions

Explore regenerative solutions and see how they are all connected.

Frameworks for Action

Six priorities: Equity. Reduce. Protect. Sequester. Influence. Support.

Where to Begin

Make a Punch List

A punch list is a personal, group, or institutional checklist of actions that you can, want to, and will do.

Carbon Calculator

Estimate the current carbon impact of your family, company, or building.

The Waggle

Our weekly newsletter filled with compelling stories about regenerating life on Earth.

Support Our Work

Donate Today

We rely upon the generous support of our fellow regenerators! Please consider making a one-time or recurring donation.

A woman carrying a crate of freshly harvested organic vegetables from her plot.

A woman carrying a crate of freshly harvested organic vegetables from her plot.

Credit: Tom Werner / Getty Images


Call to action:

Localize food sources to address human health, agricultural pollution, food apartheid, climate change, and cultural and biological diversity.

Localization reconnects families and communities with nutritious, fair, regenerative, and regionally produced food. For centuries, diverse seasonal crops were grown sustainably to be shared and consumed locally. Industrialism overthrew these local and regional food systems in favor of mass-produced monocultures that are traded and consumed globally. A movement is underway to relocalize our food. People are joining for many reasons, but chiefly because no other activity encompasses a greater range of benefits for life, health, soil, water, children, and the planet. Localization includes home and community food gardens, farmers’ markets, in-person and internet-based co-ops, community-supported agriculture (CSA), urban farming, and farm-to-table and pier-to-plate programs for schools and other institutions. Collectively, localization has the potential to transform food systems by supporting regional regenerative agriculture, fairer and shorter supply chains, and local decision-making.

Action Items


Learn about the benefits of localization. In developed nations, agriculture remained largely local until the advent of railroads, followed by the refrigeration of produce and the development of long-haul trucking, all of which opened up distant markets. Food became a commodity, and age-old relationships between people and their food broke down. Today, nearly three billion people do not have access to local, healthy food or cannot afford it if they do. Localization is a response to industrial agriculture, including the rise of factory farming and ultra-processed foods. One of the movement’s founders, Alice Waters, pioneered the farm-to-table movement in the United States. Individuals, farmers, nonprofits, and governments are now actively promoting localization. It allows people to learn more about and support agroecological farming methods. It allows growers and farmers to connect directly with families and communities and spread awareness of the many benefits of regenerative agriculture. There are many reasons to localize food, including:

  • Human health. Local food often retains more nutrients because it is allowed to ripen fully before being picked and is often grown seasonally. When produced organically, it contains no pesticides, which is better for your health. Farmers often use locally adapted crop varieties, including heirloom species that are nutritionally dense (see Eating Plants Nexus).
  • Better for the soil. When local farmers and ranchers use organic, regenerative, and agroecological methods to produce food, it builds soil health, reduces pollution, and improves water quality and quantity, among many other benefits. (see Regenerative Agriculture Nexus and Agroecology Nexus).
  • Better taste. Local food is fresh and tastes better than food shipped from distant farms. Freshness can make the food sweeter, juicier, and more savory depending on the type of produce. Other types of local food, such as eggs, also benefit from freshness.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Localized food often requires less packaging, processing, refrigeration, and transportation than the industrial food system, which can reduce global food emissions. Transportation of food between countries contributes to nearly 20 percent of global food emissions. However, food miles are not the only indicator of emissions impact. Imported food produced regeneratively may be a better choice than industrial local food.
  • Support for local economies. Purchasing locally grown foods allows money to stay close to home and and reinvest within the community. Localization also supports local job creation and higher annual revenues for small farms.
  • Strengthening of social ties and civic engagement. Local food systems create a wide range of social, educational, and civic impacts. Interactions between local farmers and consumers through farmers’ markets, food cooperatives, or direct marketing can strengthen community bonds.
  • Addressing social justice. Many communities of color do not have access to healthy, affordable food (see Food Apartheid Nexus). Closely related is the struggle for food sovereignty, which dates back centuries, when Indigenous cultures were displaced from their lands and their foodways replaced by Western, industrial food systems. Many localization efforts are centered on restoring food sovereignty and addressing food insecurity and injustice.

Grow your own food. The best way to support the local food movement is to grow food yourself. Start a garden. There are many resources for beginning gardeners and many types of foods that can be grown. Here is an article about gardening with heirloom vegetables. Here is an example of an heirloom seed company. Here is a book about growing a wide variety of tomatoes. Here is a book about growing perennial vegetables (see Perennial Crops Nexus).

Buy food that is grown locally. Support local food producers by shopping at farmers’ markets, through community-supported agriculture (CSA), food cooperatives, or by buying directly from a local rural or urban farm (see Urban Farming Nexus).

Start or join a local food cooperative. A food cooperative (co-op) is collectively owned by people who shop there. Many co-ops purchase local food from multiple vendors, often at higher product standards.

Forage and glean local foods. A rich diversity of wild or uncultivated foods can be foraged locally, from urban areas to the backcountry. Gleaning is harvesting foods that would otherwise go to waste, from city fruit trees to leftover crops on farms.


Farmers and Ranchers

Build relationships with local customers. Relationships benefit farmers by revitalizing the way local consumers shop and eat. During the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers banded together to deliver food directly to their customers via digital systems.

Provide healthy, fresh food to neighboring institutions. Supplying nourishing, local, regenerative food is a major growth opportunity for farms and ranches of all sizes. It is also healthier for your customers and the environment (see Regenerative Agriculture Nexus and Grasslands Nexus for more suggestions).

  • Farm to Fork programs are a great way to get produce to local institutions. Here is a guide from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) on how to build one. Here is a description of farm-to-school programs in Florida.
  • Pier to Plate programs connect local fishers with customers. The Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance lets people buy products right at the docks.

Provide training opportunities for young farmers and ranchers. It isn't easy to join the localization movement as a new farmer, particularly due to high land costs. Established organic and regenerative farmers and ranchers can help by providing apprenticeships and internships in their operations so new farmers can learn the necessary skills. Here are models:

  • The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian program offers eight-month, full-immersion apprenticeships on regenerative farms and ranches across the American West.
  • Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm in Virginia offers five-month internships as well as a full-time master’s program.
  • The National Young Farmers Coalition works to link new and minority farmers with educational, financial, and land-based resources in the U.S.
  • The Tallgrass Network provides training opportunities for people interested in regenerative ranching.
  • The Rodale Institute offers a training program in organic agriculture on their farm.

Restaurants, Schools, and Other Institutions

Prioritize buying regenerative food from local small-scale farmers, ranchers, and other food producers. Schools, universities, hospitals, prisons, and retirement homes can all source local food:


Buy food for your business from organic and regenerative farms and ranches. Companies, including restaurants, cafeterias, and grocery stores, can play an important role in localization efforts by virtue of their purchasing power and integration into supply chains. Examples include:


Provide grants, loans, and long-term leases for land. Local land ownership for small-scale farmers and ranchers is the foundation of a local food system.

Implement policies that prioritize local farmers, food producers, and consumers.

Prioritize local regenerative food in public institutions. Food procurement policies that prioritize local fresh food support the local food system and economy while making a strong statement about the importance of eating healthy food.

  • Read about six correctional facilities in the U.S. with farm-to-prison programs.
  • There is a vibrant movement of prison vegetable gardens across the country that provide inmates with satisfying work, marketable skills, and fresh food.

Change national food policy. The kind of food that we eat is heavily influenced by the prevailing food and agricultural policies. Enacting policies that prioritize local growers can include changing zoning laws, conducting land inventories, and offering financial incentives.

  • Check out this political Action Toolkit from Good Food Good Farming.
  • The Healthy Food Policy Project has a searchable database of healthy food policies at the local level from around the US.
  • New Zealand has implemented a variety of local healthy food policies.
  • Join or create a local, statewide, or national localization organization or a local food policy council, such as the Los Angeles Food Policy Council or the Fundacion Alternativas, a local food policy council in La Paz, Bolivia.

Written by:

Share Your Knowledge

Your expertise and insights can help Nexus grow into a local and global resource. Please submit any information that you think others would find valuable, with links where relevant. Our team will review and infuse. Please include links, references, citations, suggestions and ideas.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.