The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Food and Environment Initiative envisions an equitable food system that ethically produces enough healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food while preserving and regenerating the ecosystem for all. We seek to promote policy advocacy efforts that support sustainable food production and consumption patterns. 


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 our 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. 

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

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. 
  • Restaurants: 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. 

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