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Image: Tom Goldtooth

Indigenous environmental leader Tom Goldtooth questions the commodification of carbon and nature

December 8, 2022

Editor’s Note: New Food Order is a new podcast brought to by AFN’s parent company AgFunder in collaboration with Food+Tech Connect, co-hosted by AgFunder’s Louisa Burwood-Taylor and Food+Tech Connect’s Danielle Gould.

The views expressed in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the team at AFN or AgFunder.

Carbon markets are emerging as a leading tool for tackling our climate crisis, but are they getting to the root of the crisis?

In this week’s episode, we speak with Tom Goldtooth (Dine’ and Dakota), executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, an organization of Indigenous Peoples building economically sustainable, environmentally just, healthy communities.

Tom Goldtooth is particularly knowledgeable about the growing use of regenerative agriculture to capture carbon in our soils to sell as carbon credits but has concerns about how it is progressing and commodifying carbon, and therefore indirectly, promoting corporate ownership of lands. He believes this threatens local communities’ food supplies.

So we ask him about how businesses and communities might approach the climate crisis more holistically.

What I like about this conversation with Tom is that while he is very negative about the corporate world in general, he is also a realist, such as by highlighting the potential of technology — specifically indoor farming — to shore up food security for some communities.

What to expect from this episode with Tom Goldtooth:

☁️Tom’s take on carbon markets
💧Water rights
🧠Cultivating an indigenous mindset both at an individual level and from a business perspective
💻The role of technology in food sovereignty
💡What an ‘Indigenous Just transition’ should look like

How to listen

You can listen in the player below, or wherever you get your podcasts by clicking here. And please remember to subscribe and share with anyone you know that’s interested in regenerative agriculture, carbon markets, ecosystem services, indigenous rights, climate policy and hydroponics.

🎧Episode 5 of New Food Order is available now! Listen and subscribe via this link (

New Food Order is sponsored by FoodShot Global and New Hope Network.

It is hosted by Danielle Gould and me, Louisa Burwood-Taylor.

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