This week, we contemplated another perspective on how the food system and climate change intersect by discussing regenerative agriculture, which focuses on increasing soil health. Students watched a video from the Lexicon of Sustainability about the term “grass fed.” The production of beef from rotationally grazed cows raised on the diet their bodies are naturally designed to eat impacts the environment differently than concentrated animal feeding operations, in which cows are unable to graze and fed a diet of corn and soy to fatten them up more quickly. We discussed how the idea of “it’s not the cow, but the how” might influence the complicated decision about what to eat and how our individual food choices can make a difference.
Our recipe didn’t feature beef, but we did use grass-fed butter produced by Sierra Nevada Cheese Company as the foundation for a truly delicious pot of refried beans. Students sautéed onions and garlic and measured a number of flavorful spices (including chipotle to add smokiness and epazote for flavor and to aid with digestion) to add to pre-cooked pintos before mashing them. They garnished their dishes with fresh cilantro, radishes, and blue and yellow tortilla chips from local producer Jorge Saldano of Sabor Mexicano.