Safe, Sustainable Food
NRDC's experts are working to address threats to our health and environment, such as toxic pesticides on crops, excessive antibiotics in animal agriculture, and contaminants that leach from food packaging. Together with partners and concerned citizens, we hold regulators accountable for protecting public health and work in the private sector to promote more sustainable food production. You can join us in this effort by making healthy, sustainable food choices and lending your voice to the increasing number of us calling for a better food system.
Our work areas include:
Keeping Contaminants Out of Food
NRDC's Fix the FDA campaign is leading the effort to remove harmful chemicals from canned food and packaging. We also offer guides and tip lists to help consumers reduce exposure to mercury in seafood and chemical contamination caused by the BP oil spill.
Cutting Back on Toxic Pesticides
Pesticides used in agriculture and lawn care can harm our health and the environment. NRDC has worked for decades to reduce health risks from pesticides. We hold EPA accountable as it regulates the pesticides used in our homes, gardens and farms, and close loopholes that allow chemical companies to sell pesticides that haven't been proven safe. We also promote pest management practices that focus on preventing pest problems -- reducing or eliminating the need to use toxic chemicals in the first place.
Reducing Antibiotics Overuse in Livestock
Since 1977, the FDA has known that feeding massive amounts of antibiotics to healthy livestock breeds antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can threaten people. When these pathogens infect one of us, our medicines may no longer work. Yet the FDA continues to allow this practice. In 2012, NRDC successfully sued the FDA to compel the agency to disallow the use of many antibiotics in healthy animals, but the fight is not over.
Making Sustainable, Healthy Eating Easy
Eating well is one of life's great pleasures, and can also bring many benefits to you and the planet. NRDC's Eat Green guide give you the top four food choices you can make for the environment – and your own health. Our Smarter Living section can help you pick the safest seafood, outfit your kitchen with chemical-free cookware, find accurate food labels, and even grill better. We also provide delicious, healthy recipes for your new produce. NRDC's Eat Local guide helps you track down in-season produce and farmers' markets in your area.
» Eat Green Guide
» Find sustainable food with our Eat Local guide
» Check out the Smarter Living site for dozens of useful tools and tips
» Find out how NRDC is protecting and promoting New York City's urban foodshed
» Find out what you can do to reduce food waste in your home
Promoting Sustainable Food Production
NRDC experts work with growers, regulators and the largest food companies to toward the goal of making sustainable food available for everyone. We've partnered with agricultural leaders and food companies to find the best ways to measure and improve use of water, energy, fertilizer, soil, pesticides and habitat on the farm. We're leading the way to create a regional food system around New York City that can serve as a model for sustaining local farmers while increasing access for fresh fruits and vegetables for urban residents. We have sounded the alarm on "food loss" -- the astonishing rate of food waste that occurs from farm to fork, resulting in massive losses of natural resources and increased costs. Through efforts like these, we can encourage less dependence of chemical pesticides and fertilizer, promote water efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce food waste, and provide a secure, healthy future for farmers and food producers.
Spotlighting Sustainable Food Leaders
Farmers, business leaders, activists, and youth are leading the way to make our food supply better. NRDC's annual Growing Green Awards highlight the accomplishments of individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to advance ecologically integrated farming practices, climate stewardship, water stewardship, farmland preservation, and social responsibility from farm to fork.