European Communication on Sustainable Food MUST be a priority

Alana Ridge

Alana Ridge

Research Program Manager

Food Communities & Public Health Program, CLF

Visionaries from diverse backgrounds—from the arts and media to civil society, faith and ethics,  and academia—across the globe recently responded to an opinion piece published in the Times of London entitled “Eat Less Meat: A vital message is buried in a new report on climate change.” Dr. Robert Lawrence, the current director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, is one of the 75 signatories. The response has been featured in the Times and on the website of Compassion in World Farming. We are publishing it here in its entirety because we believe it is important to share news that lies at the intersection of diet, health, and the environment. The health, environmental, and ethical consequences of using ecosystem goods like water, soil, and food without regard for sustainability, vulnerable populations, and future generations are unjustifiable. Here is that letter in full: Read More >

Sarasota Schools Take a Bite Out of Climate Change

Alana Ridge

Alana Ridge

Research Program Manager

Food Communities & Public Health Program, CLF

school lunch

Sarasota, Fla., schools to go meatless on Mondays

Most people are unable to reduce their vehicle miles traveled (VMT) overnight to protect the environment and slow climate change. You have to get the kids to school, the dog to daycare, and yourself to work. What if there was another way to tackle climate change while improving your health? Great news! There is! Add a meat-free day to your week. Eating differently is a way to address climate change one bite at a time.

While we can’t or might not want to give up our cars this very instant, we CAN choose one day each week to fill our plates with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans instead of meat. Recent research Read More >

CLF & Meatless Monday at Climate Week NY°C

Alana Ridge

Alana Ridge

Research Program Manager

Food Communities & Public Health Program, CLF

People's Climate March / Sept. 21, 2014

People’s Climate March / Sept. 21, 2014

Environmental advocates from around the globe convened this week to participate in Climate Week NY°C. International activists and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future were there to discuss progress and future plans for Meatless Mondays campaigns in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan.

On Sunday, the group participated in the People’s Climate March. By eating less meat, you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is critical to fighting climate change. Use your fork Read More >

Mitigation of Climate Change Needs Everyone

People's Climate March / Sept. 21, 2014

People’s Climate March / Sept. 21, 2014

“To change everything we need everyone.” The rallying cry for Sunday’s People’s Climate March in New York City captured the mobilization’s spirit perfectly. From the natural environment to the built environment, from our political system to the food system, so much has to be changed to confront what has been rightly called the biggest challenge facing our generation. With such a monumental task, it is no wonder the march’s organizers spent months reaching out to every segment of society, convincing them that climate justice was a cause that united all causes. Read More >

Let’s All Calm Down about the Dietary Guidelines

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

USDA Food Pyramid, 1992

USDA Food Pyramid, 1992

The year 2015 will bring a new set of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and there are some changes afoot that could help us recalibrate our food ways. The shift in thinking boils down to this: Sustainability. There seems to be a new recognition that we should protect our food systems so that they serve us for generations to come. In other words, we should eat what’s healthy for now—and later.

If you’ve seen the (by now infamous) food pyramid, or MyPlate, you’ve seen the work of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Read More >

The Constant Conundrum: How Can One Person Mitigate Climate Change?

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

U.S. War Production Board, 1945 / Northwestern University Library

U.S. War Production Board, 1945 / Northwestern University Library

“Now, Judge,” said my 11-year-old daughter, “we can all agree on one thing. We have to do what we can to slow down climate change.” She was presenting her 1AC—first affirmative constructive—in a Baltimore Urban Debate League tournament about solar panels. “Judge,” she said, “Humans are the ones who made this mess, and so humans should be the ones to clean it up.” Thus spake the fifth-grader.

Over one semester and hundreds of hours, debaters from Baltimore City public schools spoke passionately about the need to cut down our use of fossil fuels and stop producing greenhouse gases. It’s refreshing to see the need to mitigate—or, as my daughter put it, “slow down”—climate change discussed so vigorously among the elementary school set. It’s a conversation that we adults seem to be tiring of. But who can blame us? News of impending doom from climate change has become this decade’s white noise. Read More >

Navigate the Global Meat System with New Meat Atlas

Raychel Santo

Raychel Santo

Sr. Research Program Coordinator

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

meatatlas2014_web-1A new report released last month by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Friends of the Earth Europe fell under the radar for many of us here in the U.S. However, that shouldn’t keep you from checking out this comprehensive guide to the global meat system and its effects.

Besides covering many of the issues we focus on here at the CLF – antibiotic resistance, negative impacts of industrial meat and dairy production, greenhouse gas contributions from our diets, and growing trends towards “flexitarianism” and ethical dietary choices – the report also presents many lesser-known issues to consider as part of the global animal production and consumption system. These include gender equality in livestock production, impacts of new trade agreement proposals, prospects for insect protein alternatives, urban livestock production, diminishing biodiversity of animal breeds, and more. Read More >

New FAO Report on Livestock and Climate Change

Raychel Santo

Raychel Santo

Sr. Research Program Coordinator

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

montana cattleTwo weeks ago the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) released a new report, “Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock,” which has captured media attention. One of the most frequently cited statistics from the report is the new estimate of how the livestock industry contributes to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the 2006 report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” the estimate was 18 percent—higher than the entire transportation sector—and the new 2013 estimate has been lowered to 14.5 percent. Read More >

Meat Consumption and Climate Change: Which NGOs Are Doing What?

Ruthie Burrows

Ruthie Burrows

Research Assistant

Center for a Livable Future

Since at least the 2006 publication of Livestock’s Long Shadow, which found that livestock production accounts for 18 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the link between livestock production and climate change has been well recognized by experts. And while there are several tactics for reducing meat consumption—and thereby reducing livestock production GHG emissions—some tactics are used more often than others. Read More >