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

canned foods

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.

» Find out what seafood to avoid using our Safe Seafood guide

Cutting Back on Toxic Pesticides

crop dusting plane

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.

» Get harmful chemicals out of your yard using our lawn care guide
» Reduce pesticide use at your business by following these tips
» Find out if you're using the right filter for your drinking water

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.

» Find out why antibiotic overuse is a problem and what labels you should look for at the store.

Making Sustainable, Healthy Eating Easy

fresh produce

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

food growers

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.

» Learn more about the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops
» Find out how you can reduce food waste

Spotlighting Sustainable Food Leaders

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.

» Learn more about the Growing Green Awards

Get Updates and Alerts

See the latest issue >

NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.

Donate now >

Share | |
Find NRDC on