Underpinning man’s ability to do more than survive, but grow, learn and thrive – our most profound genius of community, society and culture are directly correlated to an ability to source sustenance to growing populations. Now, overfed yet increasingly hungry & malnourished, the past 25 years have forced consumers of the Western diet fatter, chronically more ill, and disconnected enough to their food-system that most have lost perspective to the primary purpose of the food we eat. As the World teeters on the cusp of a Malthusian catastrophe unlike no other, for the first time in history to realize resources and unbridled growth are increasingly finite, more mouths turn to conventional practice for nourishment, and instead receive food-systems taxing to soil, body & environment rife with backlash.
Focusing efforts to remediate intensifying issues associated food, water & climate – as co-founder & Managing Director of the Entrepreneur Agrarian Fund (EAF), Aaron Niederhelman works with skilled holistic farmers and global thought leaders to promote regenerative agriculture to a broader audience. The Agrarian Fund utilizes sound ecological farming practice to create profitable regional farm enterprises that best meet growing market demand for better quality food with local provenance. Honored as a 2015 Eisenhower Fellow focused on nutrient security, food-system reform and water access – Aaron traveled Europe and the Middle East to gain insight from the front-lines of an ever shrinking world that has long since been forced to be concerned with natural resource and water management. With premise of changing the false economy of cheap food, Mr. Niederhelman leverages expertise in finance, technology and best agricultural practice to establish new benchmarks in domestic food-production through focus on clean & nutritious food as a pillar of preventative human and planetary healthcare (video).
Aaron speaks & writes often of the unique opportunity for the population densities of the Northeast US to establish a new benchmark for domestic food-systems through promoting environmental and human health as the underpinning to rectify an addiction to cheap food. Instilled with admiration for proper stewardship of the land & sea, Aaron has had deep appreciation for clean, fresh & healthy food from a young age. This passion to reform a broken food system has resulted in purpose to remediate the modern plagues caused from chronic illness & obesity directly associated to the deteriorating value of the Western diet. With focus on collaborating with others to promote greater good, Aaron also co-founded think tank INNOVATEBoston; he hosts the podcast ‘Growing Business’; and participates on numerous nonprofit boards ranging from food security -to- climate change -t0- social responsibility.
As a primary motivation of food system reform, the adage ‘you are what we eat’ is uniquely accurate. But, as we’re quickly learning on this shrinking planet – modern food production is supremely taxing to not just our body, but shared soils, water and environment. The impact of what’s eaten is not just felt by the individual, it’s being felt by everyone and everything in an interconnected circular OneHealth system. Throughout this site, and in the @WhatCost Food as Healthcare essay series, I cite many efforts to calculate a ‘true cost’ of cheap food. What I’ve come to realize is that the economics of food are not the roadblock, as many have warned, but instead that’s a short-horizon hurdle that presents opportunity to reevaluate how new perspective from externalized costs and additional potential values can be gained about food. Through greater awareness, accurate & just facts and reflection on working proven instances that have already embraced a future of regenerative agriculture & sustainable fisheries.