Kiss the Ground: The Inspiring Story of Soil
Awakening millions of people to the climate solution that’s right beneath our feet, Kiss the Ground is a film bringing the story of regenerative agriculture to a global audience via Netflix. As supporters of this film from its inception, Nutiva is proud to see Kiss the Ground educating viewers around the world about the ways that healthy soil and agroecological stewardship can be solutions to the climate crisis.
From Grassroots to the Big Screen
It all started with the rousing recognition of a simple, yet sophisticated solution to climate change: carbon sequestration through soil regeneration. In other words, carbon can be drawn down from the atmosphere while cultivating thriving food systems by building healthy soil. All this is possible through an approach to farming called “regenerative agriculture,” which unites modern advances in soil science with indigenous wisdom.
The vast potential of this opportunity inspired the creation of a non-profit organization and an educational book, both dedicated to amplifying awareness of regenerative agriculture as a strategy for taking action against the climate crisis—and both called Kiss the Ground. The shared name was inspired by a poem by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi which reads: “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
This love for the earth fueled the next step in magnifying the hope-inspiring story of soil: a feature-length documentary film. With our founder, John Roulac, being an early advocate, advisor and executive producer, Nutiva is proud to have supported the Kiss the Ground movie from the beginning. As a pioneer in sustainable agriculture advocacy, John has been promoting soil health education since as early as 1992 when the first edition of his Backyard Composting book was published. More recently John co-founded Great Plains Regeneration, a non-profit inviting farmers, ranchers, tribes, communities, companies, consumers and organizations to restore the Great Plains region through soil regeneration. So his involvement with the film was a natural fit.
“It’s critical that we educate people about this approach to addressing the climate crisis,” says John passionately about the reason he supported the film. “What better way to bring this story to a wide audience than with a movie? The growing interest in regenerative agriculture can have a snowball effect and bring people together to take care of the soil. And that’s exactly what we need for healthy plants, healthy animals, healthy communities, healthy oceans, and a healthy climate.”
Groundbreaking and Ground-healing
With streaming available on Netflix and over 9.5 million trailer views to date, Kiss the Ground is truly making waves on a global scale. The movie bridges popular culture with scientific instruction by featuring celebrities including Woody Harrelson, Jason Mraz, Ian Somerhalder, Gisele Bündchen, Tom Brady, and Rosario Dawson alongside experts in the field like Maria Rodale of the Rodale Institute, Paul Hawken of Project Drawdown, and Allan Savory, the originator of the Holistic Management approach to regenerative resource management.
If soil is the movie’s protagonist, then carbon is its trusty sidekick. The controversial element gets a bad rap in most discussions about climate change, but carbon is far from being the villain in this story. Instead Kiss the Ground reminds us that it’s one of the fundamental building blocks of life and a key to understanding how to reverse the climate crisis.
The problem we face is the disruption of the carbon cycle, which is the term used to describe the movement of carbon throughout living systems—from the atmosphere, to plants, to soil, back to the atmosphere, and all over again. By burning fossil fuels and degrading soils through industrial farming practices like monocropping, tillage, and synthetic pesticide and fertilizer application, far more carbon is released into the atmosphere than is being recaptured in the soil.
So if an imbalanced carbon cycle is the problem, then re-balancing it is the solution.
Kiss the Ground’s central message is that by “farming like nature,” we have the potential to harness the photosynthetic power of plants to draw carbon back down from the atmosphere into the soil. That’s exactly what regenerative agriculture aims to do by applying ecological principles and techniques like cover cropping, no-till, composting, and the cultivation of perennials and trees.
Nutiva’s agricultural partners are actively implementing these practices on the ground to capture and store carbon in the soil, from our coconut farms in the Philippines to our avocado farms in Ethiopia.
Eating as Activism
Kiss the Ground’s momentum didn’t stop with the organization or the book, and it certainly doesn’t stop with the movie. Now the team behind it is working on a follow-up film to take the original thesis and apply it to the individual level, zooming in to show how small daily choices can have a large scale impact. And we’re very excited to say that Nutiva will be featured in this sequel!
If the way we grow food is key to addressing climate change, then so is the way we eat. That’s why Nutiva’s activism has long been focused on revolutionizing the way the world eats. Empowered choice on both sides of the food system is needed to implement regenerative solutions at scale. Just as we need a coalition of farmers who choose to prioritize soil health, we need a coalition of healthy eaters who choose to support those farmers with their purchasing power.
Our Avo-conscious avocado oil sourced from Ethiopia will be highlighted in the follow-up film as an example of regenerative agriculture in action. From agroforestry to composting to pollinator management, our farming partners are committed to implementing regenerative and organic practices that nurture healthy soils and draw down carbon. Read our blog article here to learn more about how our climate-smart avocado oil is building a brighter future through regenerative agriculture!
Products like ours connect farmers and consumers through a shared vision of a bright future rooted in healthy food. When conscious eaters like you choose regenerative products, it has a ripple effect across the world and makes it possible for farmers to do what they can do best: take care of our world’s soils and heal our climate.
How to Join the Movement
So what else can you do to get involved in the movement for soil regeneration? The options are boundless, but here are a few ways to start:
- Watch the film: Kiss the Ground is available to stream on Netflix and Vimeo. Invite your family and friends to join you, or better yet, host a screening in your community. For students and teachers, a free educational version is available here.
- Spread the word: Share the movie on social media and encourage others to watch.
- Find your path: Use KTG’s quiz to find your role in the movement based on your unique interests and skills.
- Donate to the non-profit: Your contribution will support KTG’s education, advocacy and activism efforts.
- Read the book: Written by Josh Tickell and published in 2017, Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World is a must-read.
- Take a class: Become a soil advocate and/or a regenerative gardener with the help of KTG’s online courses.
- Listen to the KTG podcast: Our favorite episode? This one in which KTG co-founder Ryland Engelhart interviews Nutiva founder John Roulac about Making America’s Rivers Blue Again.
- Make regenerative food choices: