Food Sustainability Index Report on the United States: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  • Beth Ann Fiedler
Chapter

Abstract

Global concern for land use revolves around human activity, such as agriculture for food, employment, recreation, and daily sustenance (e.g., air, water, shelter). While the introduction of policy helps to abate the impact of detrimental land use practices in the United States, other national food sustainability indicators created by The Economist Intelligence Unit and the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) introduce new performance metrics that inform policy. These indicators, such as the environmental impact of agriculture on natural land and water resources, provide a method to determine if key factors are being addressed or have yet to progress towards desired targets and then compare results to other nations. The Food Sustainability Index report, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other international input such as the Milan Protocol, demonstrates the US status in the global race for improvements in diet, agricultural practices, and food waste. This brief reflects positive, marginal and poor indicators of US headway on overarching problems relating to climate change, such as food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture, and nutritional challenges impacting the ecosystem and population health. These indicators provide a baseline and progression to pinpoint areas that remain unresolved to educate, spur on innovators to pioneer solutions, and guide policymakers.

Keywords

Land use Agriculture Food loss Sustainable agriculture 

Notes

Glossary

Environmental biodiversity

The variety of species and organisms in an ecosystem

Food loss

Products that are lost along the food supply chain for various reasons including spoilage and retail requirements for display

Land use

Linked to several major areas of public administration such as natural resource management, waste disposal, transportation, urbanization, agriculture, recreation, and forest

Sustainable agriculture

Environmentally friendly agriculture methods with the objective to preserve an ecological balance by avoiding natural resource depletion

References

  1. Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN). Food sustainability index. 2016a. https://www.barillacfn.com/en/food_sustainability_index/. Accessed 6 Aug 2017.
  2. Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN). Food sustainability index: country ranking. 2016b. http://foodsustainability.eiu.com/country-ranking/. Accessed 6 Aug 2017.
  3. Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN). Dissemination. 2016c. https://www.barillacfn.com/en/dissemination/. Accessed 6 Aug 2017.
  4. Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN). The Milan protocol on food and nutrition. 2015. https://www.barillacfn.com/media/pdf/MilanProtocol_en.pdf. Accessed 6 Aug 2017.
  5. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2016: with chartbook on long-term trends in health. Hyattsville, MD; 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/index.htm. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  6. National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition. What is sustainable ag? n.d. http://sustainableagriculture.net/about-us/what-is-sustainable-ag/. Accessed 6 Aug 2017.
  7. United Nations. Sustainable development goals. 2015. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/. Accessed 7 Aug 2017.
  8. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). INDCs as communicated by parties. 2015. http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  9. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National environmental public health tracking. Climate change communication tools. 2017. https://ephtracking.cdc.gov/showClimateChangeCommunicationTools.action. Accessed 7 Aug 2017.
  10. United States Department of Agriculture. Selected new and ongoing USDA food loss and waste reduction activities. n.d. https://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/usda_commitments.html. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  11. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Departmental regulation 9500-003: land use policy. 1983. https://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/DR9500-003.htm. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  12. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Economic Research Service. Major land uses. 2017. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/land-use-land-value-tenure/major-land-uses/. Accessed 24 Jul 2017.
  13. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 2017. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  14. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Rural water infrastructure. Federal agencies provide funding but could increase coordination to help communities. Statement of Alfredo Gomez, Director, Natural Resources and Environment Team. Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, GAO-15-450T. 2015. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-450T. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  15. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Climate change funding and management. n.d. https://www.gao.gov/key_issues/climate_change_funding_management/issue_summary. Accessed 30 Jul 2017.
  16. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Climate change. Improved federal coordination could facilitate use of forward-looking climate information in design standards, building codes, and certifications. Report to the Honorable Matthew Cartwright, House of Representatives, GAO-17-3. 2016a. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-333SP. Accessed 30 Jul 2017.
  17. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Renewable fuel standard: low expected production volumes make it unlikely that advanced biofuels can meet increasing. Targets, GAO-17-108. 2016b. http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/681256.pdf. Accessed 7 Aug 2017.
  18. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Declining resources: selected agencies took steps to minimize effects on mission but opportunities exist for additional action, GAO-17-79. 2016c. http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/681736.pdf. Accessed 28 Aug 2017.
  19. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Drinking water: EPA needs to collect information and consistently conduct activities to protect underground sources of drinking water. 2016d. http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/675690.pdf. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  20. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Agricultural conservation. USDA’s environmental quality incentives program could be improved to optimize benefits. Report to the Honorable Bob Gibbs House of Representatives, GAO-17-225. 2017a. http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684401.pdf. Accessed 30 Jul 2017.
  21. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Tribal transportation: Better data could improve road management and inform Indian student attendance strategies. Report to the Ranking Member, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives, GAO-17-423. 2017b. http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684809.pdf. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  22. Von Witzke H, Noleppa S. Biofuels: Agricultural commodity prices, food security, and resource use. Agripol–network for policy advice GbR, Agripol research paper 2014-02. 2014. http://www.agripol-network.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/agripol_rp022014_2014.pdf. Accessed 20 Aug 2017.
  23. World Resources Institute. Food loss & waste protocol: food loss and waste accounting and reporting standard, version 1. 2016. http://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/REP_FLW_Standard.pdf. Accessed 6 Aug 2017.

Further Reading

  1. Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute. Land use: an overview. n.d. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/Land_use. Accessed 24 Jul 2017.
  2. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Our strategic objectives. 2017. http://www.fao.org/about/en/ Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  3. Food Tank. 12 ways the tech industry is hacking food waste. 2017. https://foodtank.com/news/2017/08/food-waste-technologies/ Accessed 25 Aug 2017.
  4. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate change 2014: synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.; 2014.Google Scholar
  5. Milan Center for Food & Policy. Right to food map. 2015. http://rtfmap.milanfoodlaw.org/. Accessed 6 Aug 2017.
  6. US Department of the Interior. Bureau of land management, featured topics. n.d. https://www.blm.gov/. Accessed 17 Jul 2017.
  7. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [internet]. Diet/nutrition. 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/diet.htm. Accessed 19 Aug 2017.
  8. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Climate change: selected governments have approached adaptation through laws and long-term plans. Report to the Honorable Matthew Cartwright, House of Representatives, GAO-16-64. 2016. http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/677230.pdf. Accessed 7 Aug 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth Ann Fiedler
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent Research AnalystJacksonvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations