Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s Future of Food

In 2012, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation launched the Future of Food initiative. In October 2018 they released the Sustainable, Resilient, and Healthy Food and Water Systems dietetic internship concentration in collaboration with Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors and the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. The Future of Food page has a number of resources relavent to Dietitians and Nutritionists – Studies, Toolkits, Recorded Webinars, and Infographics.

Aquatic Foods Toolkit (2023)

A World of Aquatic Foods Resources: Open-access resources designed to empower chefs, foodservice, consumer packaged goods entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, and other aquatic food advocates in promoting bivalves and sea vegetables.

🌐 You’ll get: Free, open-access toolkits, packed with evidence-based resources, eater insights, tested messaging, nutritional guidance, and inspiring recipes. Access to an interactive Aquatic Foods Ecosystem Map, so you can connect with others creating impact through sea vegetables and bivalves.

Aquatic foods—foods derived from aquatic animals, plants, or algae—have long been enjoyed traditionally by many cultures through the centuries. They have been highlighted in recent landmark reports for their ability to help build a healthy, diversified, equitable, and sustainable food future. Few topics today at the intersection of food, cuisine, health, and sustainability are more exciting than the vast potential of foods from the sea.

For this project, Food for Climate League joined forces with Food + Planet (F+P) and set out to develop narratives that can equip foodservice, CPG, retail, and nutrition professionals to market and promote sustainable aquatic foods successfully. With funding from Builders Initiative, they developed evidence-based health and wellness messaging and narratives for sustainable and nutritious aquatic foods, namely bivalves and sea vegetables.

🪸 The research outlined in the toolkits is a mix of qualitative and quantitative work conducted in 2022 to understand the aquatic foods landscape, including current and potential focus points and narratives around sustainable aquatic foods.

Strategies for reducing meat consumption within college and university settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2023 March)

Citation: Chang KB, Wooden A, Rosman L, Altema-Johnson D and Ramsing R (2023) Strategies for reducing meat consumption within college and university settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 7:1103060. doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2023.1103060 (open access)

  • Introduction: Despite the considerable public and planetary health benefits associated with reducing the amount of meat consumed in high-income countries, there is a limited empirical understanding of how these voluntary changes in food choice can be effectively facilitated across different settings. While prior reviews have given us broad insights into the varying capacities of behavior change strategies to promote meaningful reductions in meat consumption, none have compared how they perform relative to each other within a uniform dining context.
  • Methods: To address this gap in the literature, we synthesized the available research on university-implemented meat reduction interventions and examined the variations in the success rates and effect estimates associated with each of the three approaches identified in our systematic review.
  • Results: From our analyses of the 31 studies that met our criteria for inclusion (n = 31), we found that most were successful in reducing the amount of meat consumed within university settings. Moreover, independent of the number of individual strategies being used, multimodal interventions were found to be more reliable and effective in facilitating these changes in food choice than interventions targeting the choice architecture of the retail environment or conscious decision-making processes alone.
  • Discussion: In addition to demonstrating the overall value of behavior change initiatives in advancing more sustainable dining practices on college and university campuses, this study lends further insights into the merits and mechanics underlying strategically integrated approaches to dietary change. Further investigations exploring the persistence and generalizability of these effects and intervention design principles are needed.

3.4.1. Success rate variations

Figure 4. Grouped bar graph comparing the proportion of interventions associated with significant reductions in meat consumption across each investigated approach. Relative to other approaches, multimodal interventions were more likely to lead to significant reductions in the amount of meat consumed within university settings (p = 0.029). No increases in meat consumption were reported.

Over two-thirds of the included interventions were associated with significant reductions in meat consumption (67.7%). The remaining interventions yielded no differences in behavior (32.3%), with none of the included studies reporting any increases in meat consumption resulting from negative reactance or rebound effects.

Between the three investigated approaches, multimodal interventions were significantly more likely to be associated with reductions in meat consumption than those targeting conscious decision-making processes or the choice architecture of the retail environment alone (p = 0.029) (see Figure 4). There was no difference in the rate of success across interventions targeting the choice architecture of the retail environment and conscious decision-making process.

Interventions using at least two strategies concurrently were also more likely to be associated with reductions in meat consumption than interventions using a single strategy in isolation (p = 0.024), though both sets of interventions significantly reduced the amount of meat consumed within university settings on at least half of the evaluated occasions. Interventions that used promotional messaging strategies, in particular, were successful 57.1% of the time when used in isolation and 76.0% of the time when used in combination with other strategies (p = 0.029).

When comparing the performance between multimodal interventions and unimodal interventions leveraging two or more strategies, multimodal interventions were associated with a higher rate of success (100%, compared to 50.0%) and a greater overall effect on food choice (OR = 2.88 [1.95, 4.64]), compared to (OR = 2.13 [1.64, 3.05]).

There were no significant differences in the success rates associated with interventions conducted in Europe and North America (p = 0.28).

*Correspondence: Kenjin B. Chang,

ReFED (website)

ReFED is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending food loss and waste across the U.S. food system by advancing data-driven solutions. They have a holistic view of the food system and are working to achieve a 50% food waste reduction in accordance with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The have purposeful action:

  • That’s driven by solutions to specific challenges.
  • That’s grounded in data.
  • That’s targeted to where it can benefit the most.
  • That’s coordinated across multiple stakeholders and evaluated to ensure success.

The have 10 modeled solutions for which a quantitative estimate of effectiveness in diverting food waste, as well as cost and benefit expectations to multiple stakeholders. The were compiled based on data from solution providers, scientific studies, and expert guidance:

Why Bees Matter – The importance of bees and other pollinators for food and agriculture (2018)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) collaborated with the Republic of Slovenia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food to create this pamphlet in 2018 for World Bee Day: Why Bees Matter – The importance of bees and other pollinators for food and agriculture. It reports that 3 out of 4 crops across the globe producing fruits or seeds for human use as food depend, at least in part, on pollinators.

“World Bee Day presents an opportunity to recognize the role of beekeeping, bees and other pollinators in increasing food security, improving nutrition and fighting hunger as well as in providing key ecosystem services for agriculture.” – José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General.

FAO has a page dedicated to Pollinators.

Pollinator Partnership (website)

Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Nutritionists can design menus and/or landscaping plans for their own homes, or with their communities in gardens, orchards or commons such as parks, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, schools, religious centres, hospitals, prisons, restaurants – and more!

There are 3 resources in particular that can be useful to nutritionists:

  1. Protecting Pollinators, People, and the Planet brochure, which provides an overview on why pollinators are important
  2. Your Health Depends on Pollinators brochure
  3. Pollinator Friendly Cookbook

Pollinator Friendly Cookbook

Use this cookbook by Pollinator Partnership to create culinary masterpieces that honor pollinators and the work that they do.

Food is a basic human need, and without pollinators, humans would go hungry! 🦅 🦇 🐝 🦋 🪲 🪰 Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, flies, and small animals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. More than 200,000 species of pollinators are critical to the stability of our food supply.

In your search for ingredients, we encourage you to support local farmers that practice pollinator-friendly management techniques. Learn more at the Pollinator Partnership website.

Delivering community benefit: Healthy food playbook (tool)

The “Delivering community benefit: Healthy food playbook” is a suite of resources to support hospital community benefit professionals and community partners in developing community health interventions that promote healthy food access and healthier food environments.

If a facility has identified obesity, food access, or diet-related health conditions among the priority health needs in its community health needs assessment (CHNA), then initiatives to promote healthy food access and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables can be important components of an implementation strategy to address these needs.

The playbook has several sections with resources to support different stages of the community benefit or community health planning process. Each resource provides examples and links to learn more. These resources will inspire and strengthen your efforts to promote healthy and vibrant communities with healthy, sustainable, and equitable community food systems.

Inspired by a commitment to respond to community health needs, Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care program carried out a national research project to support hospital community benefit professionals and community partners in developing initiatives that promote healthy food access and healthier food environments. The project was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge (Tool)

You can encourage your Health Care institution to sign the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge below, which is a framework by Health Care Without Harm US & Canada that outlines steps to improve the health of patients, communities, and the environment.

In addition to encouraging your Health Care systems to sign, implement, and report on this pledge, you could adapt this pledge to other situations – schools, churches, or other groups or institutions you are working with to signal to the marketplace about their interest in local, nutritious, sustainable food. Share back with us if you do this, and we will encourage others to sign!

The pledge

As a responsible provider of health care services, we are committed to the health of our patients, our staff and the local and global community. We are aware that food production and distribution methods can have adverse impacts on public environmental health. As a result, we recognize that for the consumers who eat it, the workers who produce it and the ecosystems that sustain us, healthy food must be defined not only by nutritional quality, but equally by a food system that is economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and supportive of human dignity and justice. We are committed to the goal of providing local, nutritious and sustainable food. This Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge is a framework that outlines steps to be taken by the health care industry to improve the health of patients, communities and the environment.

Specifically, we are committed to the following healthy food in health care measures for our institution.

We pledge to:

  • Work with local farmers, community-based organizations and food suppliers to increase the availability of locally-sourced food.
  • Encourage our vendors and/or food-management companies to supply us with food that is, among other attributes, produced without synthetic pesticides and hormones or antibiotics given to animals in the absence of diagnosed disease and which supports farmer health and welfare, and ecologically protective and restorative agriculture.
  • Increase our offering of fruit and vegetables, nutritionally-dense and minimally processed, unrefined foods and reduce unhealthy (trans and saturated) fats and sweetened foods.
  • Implement a stepwise program to identify and adopt sustainable food procurement. Begin where fewer barriers exist and immediate steps can be taken. For example, the adoption of rBGH free milk, fair trade coffee, or the introduction of organic fresh produce in the cafeteria.
  • Communicate to our Group Purchasing Organizations our interest in foods that are identified as local and/or third-party certified.
  • Educate and communicate within our system and to our patients and community about our nutritious, socially just and ecological sustainable food healthy food practices and procedures.
  • Minimize or beneficially reuse food waste and support the use of food packaging and products which are ecologically protective.
  • Develop a program to promote and source from producers and processors which uphold the dignity of family, farmers, workers and their communities and support sustainable and humane agriculture systems.
  • Report annually on the implementation of this pledge. 

Health and environmental impacts of plant-rich dietary patterns: a US prospective cohort study (2022 Nov)

Aviva A Musicus, Dong D Wang, Marie Janiszewski, Gidon Eshel, Stacy A Blondin, Walter Willett, Meir J Stampfer. Health and environmental impacts of plant-rich dietary patterns: a US prospective cohort study. The Lancet Planetary Health. Volume 6, Issue 11. 2022. Pages e892-e900. ISSN 2542-5196.


  • Background – Diets that are rich in animal-based foods threaten planetary and human health, but plant-rich diets have varied health and environmental effects. We aimed to characterise a healthy dietary index and three plant-based indices by their environmental impacts and associations with risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Methods – In this prospective cohort study, we used data from a food-frequency questionnaire in the US-based Nurses’ Health Study II. Participants were categorised by quintiles of four dietary indices, including the alternative healthy eating index-2010 (AHEI), plant-based diet index (PDI), unhealthy PDI, and healthy PDI. We calculated environmental impacts (greenhouse gas emissions and irrigation water, nitrogenous fertiliser, and high-quality cropland needs), and relative risks (RRs) of cardiovascular disease from 1991–2017, comparing quintiles.
  • Findings – We included 90 884 participants in the health-impact analysis and 65 625 participants in the environmental-impact analysis. Comparing the top and bottom quintiles, higher AHEI scores were associated with a decreased cardiovascular disease risk (relative risk 0·77 [95% CI 0·66–0·89]); 30% lower greenhouse gas emissions (Q5 2·6 kg CO2 equivalent vs Q1 3·7 kg CO2 equivalent); and lower fertiliser, cropland, and water needs (all ptrends<0·0001). Similarly, the highest healthy PDI and PDI quintiles were associated with a decreased cardiovascular disease risk (healthy PDI 0·71 [0·60–0·83] and PDI 0·74 [0·63–0·85]) and lower environmental impacts (PDI water needs ptrend=0·0014; all other ptrends<0·0001). Conversely, the highest unhealthy PDI quintile had a higher cardiovascular disease risk compared with the lowest unhealthy PDI quintile (1·15 [1·00–1·33]; ptrend=0·023) and required more cropland (ptrend<0·0001) and fertiliser (ptrend=0·0008).
  • Interpretation – Dietary patterns that are associated with better health had lower greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogenous fertiliser, cropland, and irrigation water needs. Not all plant-based diets conferred the same health and environmental benefits. US dietary guidelines should include nuanced consideration of environmental sustainability.

Funding – US National Institutes of Health.