Climate Action

Earth Day Network Combats Climate Change by Tackling our Food System

WASHINGTON, DC | May 20, 2019 – Our food system is rapidly deteriorating the planet – on our current trajectory, we will not be able to feed the projected over nine billion inhabiting Earth by 2050. Our growing population is already facing food insecurity around the world, and current food consumption and production are depleting our resources. To help solve these issues, Earth Day Network (EDN) is launching Foodprints for the Future. The campaign will encourage people to increase plant-based food choices while decreasing reliance on animal agriculture and cutting food waste. “Foodprints for the Future’s vision is simple: low-impact, healthy, accessible and affordable food for all and for the planet,” stated Michelle Pawliger, EDN’s Food and Environment Campaign Manager. “To realize this vision, we must unify movements, hear diverse perspectives, and uplift the voices of those most impacted by climate change.” The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that animal agriculture and food waste account for 14.5 and 8 percent of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions, respectively. Together, they account for almost a quarter of all human-made greenhouse emissions. Animal agriculture is resource-intensive, requiring approximately 1,800 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef and is a leading cause of deforestation. Food waste is estimated to account for 30-40 percent of the food supply in the United States – UN reports demonstrate that if food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter. Foodprints for the Future will inspire much-needed improvements through individual and institutional changes, enhancing literacy about food choices and food waste, mobilizing students, showcasing exciting new innovations in plant-based alternatives, and creating a resounding call to connect plant-based food choices with climate solutions. Foodprints for the Future will create a new cross-sectional coalition, bringing together the animal welfare, environmental, health, racial, and social justice movements. Each organization represented in the Foodprints coalition has its own mission, but all believe that bonding together to improve our food system is a crucial way to achieve their goals and tackle climate change. “Taking action to protect our planet must be done at every level. From government officials and business leaders in boardrooms, to communities and individuals, we can all do our part to help reduce carbon emissions and build a sustainable environment and food system,” said Kathleen Rogers, Earth Day Network President. While urgency grows to transform food systems, the vast expansion of the plant-based market is increasing consumer choices, with large institutional food providers like Aramark and Sodexo working to reduce waste and increase plant-based choices. Even fast-food companies like McDonalds and Burger King are adding plant-based proteins to their menus. According to the Plant-Based Food Association, the sector grew 20 percent in 2018. “Transforming our food system is a big task, but it’s a movement we need to drive to build the future we crave,” stated Pawliger. Learn more at Or contact: [email protected] 202-355-8875.