Food Security and Sustainability

The United Nations estimates the world's population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Food Security and Sustainability is imperative to feed the growing population and minimize the effects of climate change. How food is grown and produced, what types of foods are consumed and how much food is wasted have major impacts on the sustainability of the world's food system. This list highlights resources from the Academy and its Foundation, as well as and organizations that are working in the intersection of agriculture, nutrition and health.

Academy and Foundation Resources

Future of Food Initiative
In 2012, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, Feeding America and National Dairy Council came together to address a public health challenge – raising awareness of food insecurity as a public health issue and increasing access to adequate amounts of nutrient dense food for all Americans – and launched the Future of Food initiative. Included in this resource are curricula, the "Tossed Treasures: How We All Can Waste Less Food" toolkit (in English and Spanish), fact sheets, infographics and webinars spanning topics from agriculture and food production to food safety and security.

Hunger & Environmental Nutrition DPG
Resources available to the public include the HEN Organic Food Talking Points, School to Farm Competencies, and a link to the Sustainable, Resilient, and Healthy Food and Water Systems Curriculum. HEN member resources include the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, webinars and more.

Food & Culinary DPG: Agriculture Subgroup
Resources available for members include virtual farm tours, tours from commodity and checkoff programs, and comprehensive list of resources.

Continuing Professional Education Opportunities
Resources include dozens of recorded webinars and Sustainable Food Systems Certificate of Training (online course).

Academy Regulatory Comments:

Principles of a Healthy, Sustainable Food System

In 2010, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Nurses Association, American Planning Association and American Public Health Association met to develop a set of shared food system principles to support socially, economically and ecologically sustainable food systems that promote health. The creation of these principles was made possible by a Food Systems and Public Health Conference Work Team grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Principles

We support socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable food systems that promote health — the current and future health of individuals, communities, and the natural environment. A healthy, sustainable food system is:


  • Supports the physical and mental health of all farmers, workers, and eaters
  • Accounts for the public health impacts across the entire lifecycle of how food is produced, processed, packaged, labeled, distributed, marketed, consumed, and disposed


  • Conserves, protects, and regenerates natural resources, landscapes, and biodiversity
  • Meets our current food and nutrition needs without compromising the ability of the system to meet the needs of future generations


  • Thrives in the face of challenges, such as unpredictable climate, increased pest resistance, and declining, increasingly expensive water and energy supplies

Diverse in

  • Size and scale — includes a diverse range of food production, transformation, distribution, marketing, consumption, and disposal practices, occurring at diverse scales, from local and regional to national and global
  • Geography — considers geographic differences in natural resources, climate, customs, and heritage
  • Culture — appreciates and supports a diversity of cultures, socio-demographics, and lifestyles
  • Choice — provides a variety of health-promoting food choices for all


  • Supports fair and just communities and conditions for all farmers, workers, and eaters
  • Provides equitable physical access to affordable food that is health promoting and culturally appropriate

Economically Balanced

  • Provides economic opportunities that are balanced across geographic regions of the country and at different scales of activity, from local to global, for a diverse range of food system stakeholders
  • Affords farmers and workers in all sectors of the system a living wage


  • Provides opportunities for farmers, workers, and eaters to gain the knowledge necessary to understand how food is produced, transformed, distributed, marketed, consumed, and disposed
  • Empowers farmers, workers and eaters to actively participate in decision making in all sectors of the system

A healthy, sustainable food system emphasizes, strengthens, and makes visible the interdependent and inseparable relationships between individual sectors (from production to waste disposal) and characteristics (health-promoting, sustainable, resilient, diverse, fair, economically balanced, and transparent) of the system.

These principles should not be construed as endorsement by any organization of any specific policy or policies.

Additional Resources

Formerly known as the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research, CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership. Its website features "Big Facts on Climate Change" which highlight issues surrounding food security, food emissions, climate impact on production and people and success stories.

Feed the Future
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative and include improved nutrition and climate-smart development in its focus areas. Feed the Future's website includes a food security innovation center, annual progress reports and AgriLinks, where professionals share knowledge on food security and agriculture.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
In addition to eradicating hunger and eliminating poverty, one of FAO's main goals includes sustainably managing and utilizing natural resources. FAO develops methods and standards for food and agriculture statistics and maintains public databases, including FAOSTAT, a which "provides free access to food and agriculture data for over 245 countries and territories." The FAO's website also offers publications — covering topics such as soil resources, marine ecosystems and agriculture sustainability — and an annual report titled "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World."

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
GAIN is a United Nations organization with a vision of a world without malnutrition. GAIN's focus areas include large-scale food fortification, nutrition for women and children, agriculture and nutrition and business partnerships for nutrition. GAIN's website has a knowledge center containing blogs, case studies, news, reports and publications.

Health Care Without Harm
Health Care Without Harm is an international group of health care systems, communities and organizations working toward environmentally friendly health care. Its website provides resources such as balanced menus, webinars, a green guide for health care food service and purchasing guides for hospitals.

International Food Policy Research Institute
IFPRI is a research center of the CGIAR Consortium and provides policy solutions for sustainable reduction of poverty, hunger and malnutrition in developing nations. One of IFPRI's strategic research areas is ensuring sustainable food production, and its website offers datasets, fact sheets and tools including a technical platform on the measurement and reduction of food waste and loss. IFPRI's 2015 Global Nutrition Report is available for download.

Love Food Hate Waste
A United Kingdom-based registered charity, Love Food Hate Waste aims to help reduce wasted food in the consumer world via education. This website provides recipes, easy tips and smart tactics to kick the wasted food habit.

Menus of Change
Menus of Change is a combined effort of The Culinary Institutes of America and Harvard School of Public Health. They have compiled principles and guidelines for creating menus that are tasty, healthy and sustainable. All resources are free to use and encourage foodservice operations to become more transparent and plant-based.

Oxfam America
With a mission of creating lasting solutions for poverty, hunger and social injustice, Oxfam America's website houses publications including annual reports, impact updates and fact sheets. The site's blog contains a section on food, agriculture and livelihoods.

More than 30 public and private sector leaders collaborated to form ReFED, which is committed to reducing food waste in the United States. The website serves as a data-driven guide for multiple stakeholders, including consumers, businesses, government, farmers and nonprofits to collectively reduce food waste at scale.

Scaling Up Nutrition
Bringing together governments, civilians, the United Nations, researchers and the private sector, the SUN movement strives to improve nutrition around the world. SUN's website offers a framework for effective nutrition plan systems and information on analyzing and tracking budgets and investments.

UNICEF's website houses nutrition status data, annual global nutrition reports and publications on topics such as improving child nutrition.

United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition
The UNSCN website contains numerous malnutrition-related resources such as a food & nutrition resource portal, Scaling Up Nutrition framework and movement and the Committee on World Food Security.

USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's Let's Talk Trash
This website helps align consumers and businesses to reduce wasted food through education and a nationwide challenge. Users can sign up a business and publicly commit to reducing wasted food.

World Food Programme
WFP has a variety of reports, publications and maps highlighting the significant impacts of climate change and food insecurity. This organization helps to illustrate the connection between changing weather and the negative impacts on growing food to feed the growing population.

World Health Organization
The WHO maintains an ongoing list of malnutrition-related publications, as well as basic malnutrition information, infographics and events.