From the Academy Practice Paper| Volume 113, ISSUE 3, P464, March 2013

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Practice Paper of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Abstract: Promoting Ecological Sustainability within the Food System

Published:February 20, 2013DOI:


      Registered dietitians (RDs) and dietetic technicians, registered (DTRs) can implement environmentally responsible practices in their workplace and personal lives. RDs and DTRs who conserve natural resources while minimizing environmental degradation will help maintain sustainability of the food system, which requires knowledge of the external costs of operational and personal decisions. These external costs include energy to produce, transport, and process food; water for food production, preparation, and sanitation; removal of air pollutants; and waste management. As client and public educators, RDs and DTRs are uniquely positioned to meet the growing needs of those seeking guidance on food choices as they relate to ecological sustainability. In an effort to promote ecologically sustainable diets, it is important to consider natural resources as they relate to food production, transformation, distribution, access, and consumption. It is essential that the dietetics community takes a more active leadership role in support of ecological sustainability and social responsibility. RDs and DTRs can influence policy at the institutional, community, local, state, and national levels by presenting results of operational practices and science-based natural resource information. RDs and DTRs are encouraged to become educated and active in implementing sustainable practices and shaping policy in an effort to promote healthier individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole.
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