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Extension Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health

Extension Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health

Kansas State University
1324 Lover's Lane
207 Justin Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-5782


Healthy Sustainable Diets

Making Everyday Choices for a Healthy Sustainable Diet

View or download the Fact Sheet and Leader's Guide by clicking on the links below:

Making Everyday Choices for a Healthy Sustainable Diet Fact sheet and Leader’s Guide

You may order copies of the Fact sheet and/or Leader's Guide visiting the KSRE publications library.

Use your food, and food-related, purchases to reinforce what you value. Consumers’ choices shape our food supply.

  • Dietary impacts on health are well known, and better health can lead to large savings on medical expenses.

  • The impact on saving environmental resources is also huge. For instance, our current food choices create a 27% larger carbon footprint than Americans’ driving habits do.

Don’t wait, expecting the government or the big food companies to solve all of our sustainability problems. People – YOU, for example – can make many small changes over time, starting with at least one today.

“Sustainable” diets meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. But what can a person do to help achieve this goal? The fact sheet offers dozens of ideas for simple everyday ways to have a tasty, healthful and sustainable diet (Read which references were used to write the fact sheet here.)

The changes you make to be more sustainable will make a big difference to:

  • Maximize health (how you look and feel) for yourself, your children, their children, and so on

  • Save money

  • Increase the well-being of the environment

  • Improve the vitality of our local communities (increase their food production capacity and your own food security)

The suggestions in the fact sheet are grouped into seven categories:

  1. Choose nutrient-rich foods.

  2. Eat locally-produced foods when available.

  3. Buy from businesses with sustainable practices when possible.

  4. Minimize avoidable food losses and waste.

  5. Limit energy use.

  6. Limit water use.

  7. Minimize packaging and wrapper waste.

If you have questions or concerns about the information on this page, please contact our office at 785-532-5782 or email: sburklun@ksu.edu

Audio and Video Files

A Healthy Sustainable Diet...(Part 1)

A Healthy Sustainable Diet...(Part 2)

Food, Field to Fork (An interview with Author and Nutritionist Anita Kobuszewski)

Reducing Food Waste

The Sustainable Dinner Plate (An interview with Registered Dietitian Mary Lee Chin)

Resources with Additional Information

Tips for conserving water in your home here

Calculate a portion of your carbon footprint here or here or here

Calculate the global-warming carbon scores of various meals here

Find which week various kinds of fruits and vegetables are in-season in Kansas here

Download a free recipe book by the fact sheet author featuring fresh local fruits and vegetables here

Download a free recipe book by the fact sheet author featuring various kinds of protein here

Locate farmers markets here

Locate direct-sales farms, local-food restaurants and farmers markets in Eastern Kansas here

Read about nutrition from the farm to your table here

Read how to preserve foods here

Read how to grow your own food and make compost here

Read what consumers mean when they talk about "clean" foods and beverages here

Download a pocket guide for sustainable fish choices here

When considering buying fish, send a text to 30644 with the word fish followed by the type of fish you are considering. You’ll get a text telling if your choice is green (sustainable), yellow (eat occasionally) or red (not sustainable)

Get ratings for the sustainability of national food brands and other products here

Compare many USDA-certified biobased products here

Get food waste reduction tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency here

Calculate the energy used by your kitchen appliances here

Read about local and regional food systems here

Read about sustainable agriculture practices here

Read recommendations to promote sustainable diets here

Read It’s Easy to be Green  here

Read Green Choices for Selecting, Preparing and Serving Meals here

Get more resources here