A sustainable and resilient food system conserves and renews natural resources, promotes biodiversity and food sovereignty, advances social justice and animal welfare, respects traditional and indigenous knowledge, builds community wealth, and fulfills the food and nutrition needs of all eaters now and in the future with a focus on plant based foods.

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets

“Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.” 

Other Resources: 

  1. World Health Organization: "Sustainable healthy diets: guiding principles". This report of guiding principles takes a holistic approach to diets; they consider international nutrition recommendations; the environmental cost of food production and consumption; and the adaptability to local social, cultural and economic cost
  2. The Food Sustainability Index was created by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation. It uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to rank 67 countries on the sustainability of their food systems
  3. EAT-Lancet Commission on Food Planet and Health is a collaboration between 37 of the world’s leading scientists to answer this question: can we feed a future population of 10 billion within the boundaries of our planet?
  4. Meatless Monday: part of the Monday Campaigns, Meatless Mondays is a campaign that advocates for avoiding meat on Mondays
  5. Academy Definition: Sustainability is often defined as the ability of a system to be maintained over the long term and meet the needs of the present without jeopardizing the ability to meet the needs of future generations.
  6. FAO of the United Nations Definition: Sustainable development has been defined by FAO as “the management and conservation of the natural resource base, and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations.
  7. UNEP Definition: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines sustainable development as development that ensures that the use of resources and the environment today does not compromise their use in the future.
  8. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs – Sustainable Development
  9. Changing What We Eat Could Offset Years of Climate-Warming Emissions
  10. International Confederation of Dietetic Association (ICDA)’s Toolkit:

    The Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Toolkit is built by and for dietitians and nutritionists to improve our roles in sustainability within our diverse practices. ICDA supports 54 member associations from 63 nations and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a member.

    The toolkit is continually growing and adapting. This toolkit is a collection of existing resources, case studies, infographics, and inspirational stories as well as a self-assessment and structured set of learning modules. The toolkit is intended to help you understand SFS, identify your knowledge gaps, deepen your knowledge in particular areas, understand the relevance to nutrition and dietetics, access tools for putting this knowledge into practice, and help you share challenges and successes with colleagues to inspire and support others.

Disclaimer: Some resources are not co-developed and are not endorsements by VN/Academy. The content in some of this resources has not been vetted or reviewed by VN/Academy and are just recommended resources.