156 pages | 6 x 9
One of the many benefits of the U.S. food system is a safe, nutritious, and consistent food supply. However, the same system also places significant strain on land, water, air, and other natural resources. A better understanding of the food-environment synergies and trade-offs associated with the U.S. food system would help to reduce this strain. Many experts would like to use that knowledge to develop dietary recommendations on the basis of environmental as well as nutritional considerations. But identifying and quantifying those synergies and trade-offs, let alone acting on them, is a challenge in and of itself. The difficulty stems in part from the reality that experts in the fields of nutrition, agricultural science, and natural resource use often do not regularly collaborate with each other, with the exception of some international efforts.
Sustainable Diets is the summary of a workshop convened by The Institute of Medicine's Food Forum and Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine in May 2013 to engender dialogue between experts in nutrition and experts in agriculture and natural resource sustainability and to explore current and emerging knowledge on the food and nutrition policy implications of the increasing environmental constraints on the food system. Experts explored the relationship between human health and the environment, including the identification and quantification of the synergies and trade-offs of their impact. This report explores the role of the food price environment and how environmental sustainability can be incorporated into dietary guidance and considers research priorities, policy implications, and drivers of consumer behaviors that will enable sustainable food choices.