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Food and Farm

Food production contributes up to 30 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. It also accounts for 70 percent of freshwater use and occupies nearly 40 percent of our planet’s land. The stark reality is that humanity will not manage to limit global warming to 1.5 or even 2 degrees Celsius without tackling emissions from food systems


Our eating habits play a big role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But you don’t have to go vegan to make a difference. Reducing red meat consumption in any way you can helps curtail greenhouse emissions. This is because cattle and sheep are ruminants and their digestive system emits a lot of the potent greenhouse gas methane (when they burp!). Reducing red meat consumption is also good for most people’s health—it reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. For some delicious plant-rich meals to share with family and friends, check out recipes tested by Cornell students. To learn more about legislation that supports plant-rich eating, read this report and download the Climate Action Now app (click on search and scroll down to "Food and Farm"). 


Farmers in New York and elsewhere are also working to reduce emissions from cows. They are feeding cows new foods that actually curtail burping and developing better ways to manage manure. Some dairy farmers are trying out new crops like garbanzo beans


Speaking of garbanzo beans, check out these new foods developed by Cornell Food Science graduates: Grabanzos and Protos. From mushroom burgers to Salm’n, Veggieroni, and Pâtésty, new plant-powered foods are coming online all the time. 

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Image: World Resources Institute

Cornell and online course students often choose plant-rich diet as their network climate action. This means they reduce their own meat and dairy consumption and persuade family and friends to join them in adopting a plant-rich diet.

Click on music video produced by Cornell Climate Online Fellow from Jamaica: One Day a Week, Eat Less Meat

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Listen to lectures from our 2020

plant-rich diet webinar series

Cornell students in our Climate Solutions capstone course worked with seven community partners to create plant-rich diet recipes and infographics.


Cornell Cooperative Extension-Warren County applies local experience and research-based solutions to help rural upstate New York families and communities. Cornell students worked with Nutrition Educator MB Mitcham to create recipes accessible to low-income families who live far from grocery stores and often shop for food at gas station convenience stores. View recipes and infographics.

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CASL Trust focuses on sustainable agriculture, climate, innovation, research, and advocacy in Murewa, Zimbabwe. Cornell students worked with CASL Trust founder and director Respect Musiyiwa to develop nutritious plant-based recipes that incorporate local and affordable foods. View Instagram posts, video 1, video 2 and video 3.


Headwater Food Hub is changing the business of food by providing restaurants, institutions, and eaters access to regional foods at fair prices, while supporting local farmers. Cornell students worked with Director of Community Program T C Washington to create recipes and educational materials for food kits for low-income elementary students. View recipes and a lesson plan.

VegPlanet is a 370,000 member strong WeChat community that uses creative online media to promote veganism in China. Cornell students tested Chinese vegan recipes and posted their experiences on VegPlanet’s WeChat site in English and Chinese.

View the article.

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Urban Harvest supports community gardens, local farmers, farmers markets, and schools to improve the lives, soils, and plates of low­-income and diverse communities in Houston Texas. Cornell students created recipes using local ingredients and profiles of small farmers who supply Houston with plant-based foods. View recipes and profiles.


Elders Climate Action welcomes all elders to work collectively to enact just climate policies. Cornell students worked with volunteer Mark Cook to create a collection of recipes accompanied by short profiles of elder and student cooks. View recipes.

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Sustainable Tapas is a startup that transforms Spanish cuisine – tapas - into a sustainable eating experience by using local and seasonal plant-based ingredients and educational programs. Cornell students created tapas recipes and infographics for posting on Instagram, using Sustainable Tapas unique graphic designs.

View recipes and Instagram posts.

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