There are so many ways that each of us can contribute towards our vision of a more resilient, equitable, and healthy food system.
Read the plan and provide feedback
Sign the Pledge to show your support
Do what you can at home and work
Volunteer with food and farm organizations
Sign the Food System Pledge
Everyone participates in the food system. How we participate, the purchasing and food selection decisions we make everyday delivers the food system of our future. Acknowledging and publicly affirming your commitment to a resilient, equitable, and healthy food system is the first and easiest step to take.
Do What You Can
Individuals and Households
1. Eat for your health.
a. Explore recommended dietary resources at MyPlate.gov.
b. Read nutrition labels to determine if processed foods are meeting your daily needs.
c. Understand the impact of food marketing on your purchasing habits. Beware of green-washing terms and health claims that don’t align with your own understanding of eating a balanced diet.
2. Eat for planetary health.
a. Adopt sustainable dietary habits from The World Wildlife Foundation’s 9 ways to support sustainable food guide or
Harvard’s Plate and the Planet Guide.
b. Read the EAT-Lancet report to learn about specific foods that support climate health. Local NY options are highlighted in
this poster, NY Foods that Promote Climate Health.
3. Eat to Reduce Food Waste.
a. Plan meals ahead of time and use a shopping list to buy only what you need.
b. Store leftovers appropriately, freezing what you won’t eat in the next 3 days.
c. Turn leftovers and scraps into stocks, soups, smoothies, salads, and casseroles.
d. Compost inedible scraps using tips from CCE’s Compost Program.
e. Donate items that you don’t plan to eat before they expire through the Friendship Donations Network.
4. Eat for equity.
a. Shop for foods that are Certified Fair Trade.
b. Take the 21 day racial equity challenge from Food Solutions New England.
c. Support local food justice efforts by donating your land, money or time to Khuba International’s Quarter Acre for the
People project, Black Farmer Fund, Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, The Youth Farm Project and Food
5. Eat for our local economy.
a. Support restaurants and retail businesses that buy from regional farms.
b. Eat out at locally owned restaurants and food businesses.
c. Shop at farmers markets and farm stands and/or purchase a local CSA share, using the BuyLocalFoodNY.org guide
and u-pick, CSA, and farmers market listings at CCE Tompkins.
6. Build a food budget that aligns with your values
a. Plan your household budget to ensure that you have enough to spend on food that aligns with your values, including
your own health and wellbeing.
b. Plan ahead with the expectation that food prices will increase over time.
c. Eat seasonally and be flexible about the varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and meats that you purchase. The
availability and price of specific items will fluctuate based on weather patterns and production capacity.
7. Engage with local and national food advocacy efforts
a. In addition to working with our local food system plan, join campaigns run by regional and national food advocacy
groups such as Food Research Action Center, Northeast Organic Farming Association, Restaurant Opportunities Center
United and others to change policies and allocate federal and state funding for a better food system.
b. Join and financially support advocacy groups that lobby to fight hunger in our communities. If you are part of a church,
ask if they are part of Bread for the World and learn how you can support efforts to fight hunger.
c. Learn more about and support mechanisms to subsidize producers who are working to both adapt to and mitigate
climate change here and here.
8. Learn more about the food system.
a. Take the eCornell free course, Our Changing Menu, and read the book Our Changing Menu by Hoffman, Koplinka-
Loehr, and Eiseman.
b. Read from this Suggested Reading List on the Future of Food from Yale Climate Connections or this Essential Reading list
c. Stay up-to-date on food system news through Civil Eats or Food Policy Watch.
Local Business Owners and Organizations
1. Sign the Pledge and consider becoming a sponsor.
2. Serve on a board of directors. Area nonprofits need finance committee members to achieve sustainability.
3. Help raise funds for food access organizations through donations at the register, hosting special events, or designating a portion of proceeds.
4. Purchase local products and support local food businesses whenever possible. Aim for 30% of food purchases to come from local produce, meat, dairy, and processed/packaged foods. Hire local caterers and support other food businesses.
5. Ensure that your employees are food secure by increasing wages and by providing information about how to access pantries, access subsidized farm food, and enroll in SNAP and WIC when eligible.