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155. Healthy Food for a Healthy Planet: The Carbon Footprints of Dietary Choices

Tuesday, October 23
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
CE: 1.0

Session Level 2- Intermediate

All over the globe people are feeling the impacts of climate change, and action at various levels (individuals, institutions and policies) has never been more important for addressing this massive challenge. Our diets can play a critical role in helping to reduce our carbon footprint. In fact, recent studies have shown that shifting demand away from ruminant animal-based foods will likely be necessary for reaching climate targets. This talk will distill and present currently available data on the carbon footprint of various foods through production and the cold refrigerated supply chain, or cold chain. It will also discuss changes in carbon storage associated with shifts in land use for agricultural purposes. The co-benefits of plant-forward diets will be discussed. Finally, voluntary shifts in diet that occurred as a result of education about the connections between food and environmental sustainability will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 4070 - Food security and hunger
  • 4110 - Vegetarianism
  • 8018 - Environmental, agricultural and technologic influences on food systems

Jennifer Jay, Ph.D.

Jennifer Jay earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For the last sixteen years, she has been a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of California Los Angeles. She specializes in the fate and transport of chemical and microbial contaminants in the environment. Her research addresses a wide range of topics including coastal water quality, environmental proliferation of antibiotic resistance, and the role of environmental education in shifts toward diets with lower carbon footprints. She teaches classes in Aquatic Chemistry, Statistics, Chemical Fate and Transport, and Food: A Lens for Environment and Sustainability. She was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, and two engineering school-wide award for excellence in teaching. In addition, she was the Pritzker Fellow for Environmental Sustainability and a Carnegie Fellow for Civic Engagement in Higher Education. Jennifer also directs the Center for Environmental Research and Community Engagement (CERCE), a UCLA Center that addresses community-based environmental research questions in under-served communities in Los Angeles. She founded Meals for the Planet (, an organization with the goal of disseminating information on the connections between food and the environment.


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Lisa Dierks, MFCS, RDN, LD

Lisa Dierks MFCS, RDN, LD works as a Regional Director for the University of Minnesota Extension in Southern Minnesota. This is a major role in field operations, providing critical functions related to internal and external stakeholder relationships, county funding, human resource management, and overall management of regional and county offices.  Prior to her position with Extension, Lisa worked in nutrition practice and administrative roles with Mayo Clinic for 16 years. Lisa received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and completed a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. In 2016, she received her Master of Family & Consumer Science degree from Iowa State University.  Lisa has actively volunteered for professional organizations since starting her career. Lisa served as the task force chair for the recent revision of the Code of Ethics for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. She has served as President, Delegate and Secretary for the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is currently the Chair for the Hunger and Environmental Dietetic Practice Group. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, she is passionate about food and the role it plays in our well-being.  She is also passionate about mentoring and supporting others see their life’s aspirations achieved.


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155. Healthy Food for a Healthy Planet: The Carbon Footprints of Dietary Choices

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Send Email for 155. Healthy Food for a Healthy Planet: The Carbon Footprints of Dietary Choices