Improving the health of all Americans across all life stages will require a better understanding of the complex causes and corresponding solutions of diet-related diseases and disparities. The most effective solutions will also address the interrelated challenges across both food and nutrition security and climate change.
Consumer Resources – Nutrition.gov is a USDA-sponsored website that offers credible information to help you make healthful eating choices.
Nutrition Professional Resources - The USDA National Agricultural Library’s Food and Nutrition Information Center provides the food and nutrition professional community access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources. Another USDA National Agricultural Library resource is the Historical Dietary Guidance Digital Collection.
IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION & FOOD SYSTEMS
According to the 7th edition of the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report, during the next 20 years, the impacts of climate change could potentially intensify risks to food, water, health and energy security. Evidence indicates the increased temperature, drought, rainfall variability, extreme weather and ocean acidification associated with climate change is related to reduced food production, altered nutrient content, inequitable access to healthy foods and beverages, and high rates of food insecurity. Therefore, addressing food and nutrition insecurity is interrelated with challenges and opportunities with our agricultural and food systems. Ensuring sustainable agricultural systems will require a convergence of science and technology to accelerate a transformation of our food system to shorten supply chains, optimize agricultural productivity, minimize negative environmental impacts and ensure a resilient, flexible food system that is safe, affordable and nutritious.
NIFA recognizes nutrition as a cost-effective approach to address many of the societal, environmental and economic issues faced across the globe today. NIFA works to ensure a safe, nutritious and secure food supply while also developing, delivering and disseminating evidence-based nutrition education and promotion to prevent chronic diseases, improve health and prioritize nutrition security. NIFA partners with the Land-grant University System and government, private and non-profit organizations to support science. Our agency also invests in developing agricultural scientists across all stages of professional development to use an integrated approach to prioritizing nutrition security and ensuring sustainable agricultural systems through research, education and Extension. NIFA invests more than $160 million in research, education, Extension and innovation to advance USDA’s goal to tackle food and nutrition insecurity; several of our key efforts intersect with addressing climate change and strengthening our food systems.
Internally, NIFA has priority teams in nutrition security and climate change, and these teams help to foster cross-priority team intersections. NIFA also represents the agency on a variety of departmental and inter-governmental activities. This includes NIFA’s leadership in establishing the US Global Change Research Program, interagency group on Climate Change and Human Health, a Climate Change, Food Systems, and Nutrition Security Workstream. This workstream is made up of more than 90 Federal representatives and is focused on addressing key knowledge gaps around strengthening the intersections between climate change, food systems and nutrition security.
The following NIFA Topic pages further explain our nutrition and food systems efforts (stay tuned a few pages are under development):
- Climate Change
- Food and Nutrition Security
- Nutrition Education
- Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention
- Community Nutrition
- Food Loss and Waste
- Food Science
- Food Quality
- Food Safety
- Food Sovereignty
- Local and Regional Food Systems
- Global Food Security
- Sustainable Agriculture
Key NIFA programs aiming to foster stronger intersections between climate, food systems and nutrition security include:
- AFRI Sustainable Agricultural Systems
- AFRI USDA Climate Hubs Partnership
- AFRI Rapid Response to Extreme Weather Events Across Food and Agriculture Systems
Other relevant programs include:
- Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP)
- Community Food Projects
- Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP)
- 4-H Youth Development Program
- 1890 Land-grant Institution Programs
- AFRI Economics, Markets, and Trade
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
- Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans (AgVets)
- Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP)
- Hispanic-serving Institutions Education Grants Program (HSI)
- Master Gardener Program, as well as Master Health and Master Food Preserver Programs
- National Center for Home Food Preservation
- New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE)
- Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
- Regional Rural Development Centers
- Rural Health and Safety Education
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
Learn more by listening to our NIFA Nutrition Security Webinar Series – Strengthening Intersections between Climate Change, Food Systems and Nutrition Security: NIFA’s Aims & Activities (October 20, 2021) edition