Andy Whitman

Director, Sustainable Economies

Why would a sustainability organization like Manomet be interested in human diet and nutrition? As it turns out, what we eat may profoundly affect our world and the next generation. Agriculture is the world’s largest industry and employs more than one billion people and generates over $1.3 trillion of food annually. To feed our current population, it takes about 50 percent of the Earth’s habitable land. And the planet will be home to another 2 billion people by 2050.  What we eat is one of the most important sustainability issues of our day.

The buzz words of today are ‘sustainable diets’ and ‘sustainable nutrition.’ If you think it sounds complicated, it is, at least in how the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines sustainable diets: “Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable, nutritionally adequate, safe, and healthy, while optimizing natural and human resources[1].”

Sustainable nutrition has been heralded as one of a few key solutions to our food sustainability challenge.  It suggests we need to not only to change our farming practices on the ground, as Manomet promotes by working with agricultural partners across the U.S., but also change what we eat.