Global Food Ethics & Policy

The Global Food Ethics and Policy Program serves to deepen Johns Hopkins collaborations and partnerships, convene experts and leaders to shape policy, and connect scholars and scientists to the societal players that are shaping the global food system.

The Global Challenge

By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 10 billion people. This population growth will increase the demand for food, which will put unprecedented stresses on the environment, natural resources, and ecosystems that humans depend on.

How can we nourish the global population in ways that align with positive social, health, environmental, and economic outcomes? Over 800 million people are hungry, and another 2.1 billion are overweight or obese. At the same time, roughly 20% of the world’s children under the age of five suffer from chronic undernutrition.

We need a more equitable, ethical, and sustainable global food system. The world’s population is growing and rapidly urbanizing. Geopolitical conflicts threaten sustainable development, while global democracies become increasingly fragile. Climate variability is less predictable, and extreme weather events are on the rise. With these challenges at hand, the stakes are too high to ignore.

JHU’s Global Food Ethics and Policy Program

Around the world, many efforts are being made to tackle these intertwined challenges. The Johns Hopkins University is poised to contribute to these efforts in a unique way. It provides interdisciplinary expertise in human health from a patient care and research perspective, and leading ethics and social justice scholarship. The University builds strong partnerships with non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academia, as well as dedicated students. It creates connections with national governments and the world’s leading policymakers.

The Global Food Ethics and Policy Program of Johns Hopkins University addresses critical global issues of malnutrition in all its forms and diet-related diseases, environmental degradation, poverty, inequity and injustice across the food system.

The Program is active in three areas of work:

  • Research: Generate and disseminate new scientific evidence and ethics scholarship with political and societal relevance to food systems and challenges that the food system faces (climate and environment, social equity and justice, population growth, rapid urbanization and transformation, etc.).
  • Education: Build the capacity of the next generation of educators, policymakers, and development practitioners so that they can lead on sustainable food systems and ethics. Help to advance training and skillsets to adapt to global trends and drivers across increasingly interconnected food systems.
  • Policy and Development: Provide guidance and foresight on ethical, political, social, health, and nutrition issues connected to food systems. Engender innovative and sustainable solutions for more equitable food security.

Featured Projects

Beef, Food Choices, and Values
Identifying ways to shift the consumption of beef in the United States in order to support planetary and human health
Choose Food: Ethically Benchmarking Food Systems
Empowering eaters by enabling informed ethical decision making around food choices
The Food Systems Dashboard
Giving users a complete view of food systems by enabling them to compare components of food systems across countries and regions and identifying and prioritizing ways to sustainably improve diets and nutrition in their food systems

Program Leadership

Jessica Fanzo, PhD
Core Faculty; Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics