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Food and Agricultural Systems

When studying agriculture, we must also study its effects on the environment, and the effects of the environment on agriculture. The relationships between food production, policy, public health, and food chain workers’ health and safety must all be considered together, as well. The globally expanding industrial food production model introduces ever greater challenges to all the systems and people it touches, with consequences for climate change, antimicrobial resistance, wasted food, nutrition, hunger, food insecurity and more. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future draws upon scientific expertise from across disciplines throughout the University to contribute to the body of knowledge, communicate findings and educate future generations that will lead the way toward a resilient food system that benefits all.

Research Highlights

The Center for a Livable Future Wasted Food Project

The CLF’s Wasted Food Project aims to generate evidence that makes a meaningful contribution to the governmental goal of halving the waste of food. Wasted food can be viewed through the lenses of public health, food systems, equity and environment, and the CLF has over a dozen projects on this topic including a major initiative on seafood waste. The projects use an interdisciplinary portfolio of primarily social science and policy research tools. The Center also engages in the policy, practice and communications activities necessary to translate evidence to real-world impact.

The Center for a Livable Future Diet-Climate Study

The CLF’s Diet-Climate Study breaks new ground by advancing the study of the impact of many types of global eating patterns on greenhouse emissions that contribute to climate change. Some of the many diets studied include high-meat consumption, vegan, vegetarian, “low on the food chain” and more. One of the unique features of this study is the consideration of geographical location on impact; for example, a high-meat diet in Brazil is found to contribute more to climate change than a high-meat diet in other countries. Another unique feature of this study is that when calculating impact of specific foods, such as cheese or yogurt, serving size is used instead of mass.

Associated Faculty