At the Center for Science in the Public Interest (Nutrition Action’s publisher), our advocacy work has focused broadly on diet and health. With the climate crisis looming, it would be short-sighted to not also consider the impact of food on our planet.

Globally, food systems account for approximately 25 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions, 70 percent of our freshwater use, and 40 percent of our cropland. Agriculture is also a primary cause of fertilizer pollution. Yet the U.S. food system wastes an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the food we produce.

And as the world warms, droughts, floods, heat, and hurricanes will damage crops and raise costs.

We need a sustainable, efficient, and resilient food system that can better withstand fires, flooding, extreme temperatures, and other impacts of climate change.

heard of cows with one brown cow looking at the camera
Less beef and more beans would curb the U.S. carbon footprint.
Clint Austin -

As a nation, we need to reduce waste from the farm to the dining room table. And we need packaging that is environmentally friendly and safe.

Finally, we need to promote healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and nuts. A plant-based diet can help curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fertilizer pollution, and use less water and land than a meat-based diet.

To further those goals, CSPI has launched a Food and Environment Initiative. Our vision: an equitable food system that ethically produces healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food while preserving and regenerating the ecosystem for all.

For years, CSPI has worked to get healthier foods and beverages into schools, parks, government buildings, and other public places. We aim to build on that success by pressing for changes that also sustain the Earth. For example:

School meals

We’ll make school meals more sustainable by fighting for plant-based offerings and trimming food waste.


We’ll urge restaurants to offer meals—for both kids and adults—that protect the planet’s and their patrons’ health. And we’ll press restaurants to make it easy for consumers to identify those options.

Water access and water security

We’ll push for all Americans to have clean, safe, appealing, and reliable tap water.

And that’s just the start. Stay tuned as we dive into this crucial new initiative!

hands holding tomatoes


More ways to give

Hungry for change? CSPI offers numerous ways to give—choose the one that's right for your financial circumstances. No matter how you choose to contribute, your tax-deductible gift will fuel the fight for safer, healthier food.