What Is Regenerative Agriculture And How Does It Work? : Short Wave Traditional farming depletes the soil and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But decades ago, a scientist named Rattan Lal helped start a movement based on the idea that carbon could be put back into the soil — a practice known today as "regenerative agriculture."

NPR food and agriculture correspondent Dan Charles explains how it works and why the idea is having a moment.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

Farming Releases Carbon From The Earth's Soil Into The Air. Can We Put It Back?

Farming Releases Carbon From The Earth's Soil Into The Air. Can We Put It Back?

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Rattan Lal, an India-born scientist, has devoted his career to finding ways to capture carbon from the air and store it in soil. Ken Chamberlain/OSU/CFAES hide caption

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Ken Chamberlain/OSU/CFAES

Rattan Lal, an India-born scientist, has devoted his career to finding ways to capture carbon from the air and store it in soil.

Ken Chamberlain/OSU/CFAES

Traditional farming depletes the soil and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But decades ago, a scientist named Rattan Lal helped start a movement based on the idea that carbon could be put back into the soil — a practice known today as "regenerative agriculture."

NPR food and agriculture correspondent Dan Charles explains how it works and why the idea is having a moment.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brent Baughman, fact-checked by Emily Kwong, and edited by Geoff Brumfiel.