Meet Gina Asoudegan, vice president of mission and regenerative agriculture at Applegate. Gina is spearheading the company’s push toward regenerative practices, which she sees as a way to satisfy conscientious carnivores who want to have their meat—and save the planet, too. Gina explains why regenerative is a natural fit for Applegate and how it offers real hope to meat lovers who care about the environment.
Q: Why are you pushing regenerative agriculture?
A:So Applegate’s mission is changing the meat we eat. And what I love about it is the “ing” at the end of change. And that’s by design, it was always intended that our mission would evolve as our knowledge and understanding of things evolved.
So when I learned about regenerative agriculture several years ago, I was certain it was something Applegate needed to be a part of. This idea that animals are an integral part of the ecosystem. That animals and plants have this symbiotic relationship and improve the health of the soil.
Q: Much of the buzz around regenerative agriculture relates to carbon sequestration—the ability of the soil to absorb carbon and, ultimately, battle climate change. Is that the main focus?
A: So there’s a lot of talk about carbon. And carbon is really important. But it’s not everything.so just focusing on one aspect of that system, like carbon, is sort of the antithesis of a holistic system. Regenerative agriculture can improve the water holding capacity of the soil. It can improve biodiversity. It can improve the overall health of the ecosystem.
What I love about regenerative agriculture or regeneration is the idea that the earth can regenerate itself. That we can undo damage.
You know, we’re bombarded with these messages that say don’t do this or don’t eat that because this or that will kill you. Well, how about we do this because it protects what we love. I think that’s a message that would resonate with everybody right now.
Q: Why did Applegate choose to make a hotdog for its first regeneratively sourced product?
A: The hot dog has always been our ambassador. You know, in the beginning it was all about clean ingredients. And then the hot dog made with beef raised without antibiotics. Then we did one that was organic and grass fed. And now the Do Good Dog ™ is the next evolution of our mission. It’s all about regenerative agriculture and meat coming from animals that was raised in that system.
Changing The Meat We Eat®: Natural & Organic - No antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial ingredients or chemical nitrites - Humanely Raised - Gluten Free