Our Nation’s Food System is a Top Polluter
Our current food system threatens our health by polluting the air and water and exposing workers, neighbors, and consumers to dangerous chemicals. Our food system also imperils native wildlife and poisons our climate, releasing about one-third of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Common practices, such as overfertilizing single-crop fields, confining animals for the industrial-scale production of meat and dairy, and over-relying on pesticides and antibiotics, put everyone at risk. In addition, even though our current system produces a lot of food, many people still lack easy access to fresh, nutritious food.
Many Farmers Have Begun to Implement Safer, Climate-friendly Practices
The good news is that many farmers know how to produce food without contributing to unnecessary air and water pollution, or putting human health at risk. From growing perennial plants, rotating crops, and planting cover crops to improving the management of animals and manure, farmers have shown they can produce nourishing food without abusing our environment. In fact, many of these practices not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also increase farms’ resilience to the extreme weather events that result from climate change.
Building a Climate-friendly Food System
We must build a food system that supports responsible farmers and accelerates the adoption of climate friendly practices by strengthening requirements that control agricultural pollution, increasing incentives for safe, climate-friendly farming, opposing consolidation within the agricultural sector, and ensuring that resources are equitably distributed among all farmers.
Laws and Regulations Must Be Revised to Support Sustainable Agriculture
Currently, taxpayers spend billions of dollars annually to subsidize crops used for wasteful animal feed, industrial animal factories, climate-harming biofuel, and unhealthy food and drinks, and our environmental laws too often give a free pass to industrial agriculture. Fortunately, after years of advocacy, there is now growing interest among farmers and decisionmakers to reform the laws, regulations, and policies that govern agriculture.
Expanding Research, Support, and Incentives
Together with our partners, we are pressing for the expansion of research, support, and incentives that will help all farmers adopt safer, climate-friendly practices and level the playing field, so that farmers who chose to operate responsibly are no longer at a financial disadvantage.
We’re Taking on Big Ag & Big Food
Earthjustice has built a track record of success at cleaning up dirty industries through focused and persistent legal advocacy. We’re using these same strategies to reform our nation’s food and farming system. We work in partnership with activists, frontline communities, sustainable farmers and ranchers, scientists and others to help accelerate this shift to a safer, more climate-friendly food system.