Zero Foodprint (ZFP) is a nonprofit organization mobilizing the food world around agricultural climate solutions.
Named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, ZFP sees the food system as a major solution to global warming as well as a major cause. ZFP members crowd-fund grants for farmers to switch to renewable farming practices—proven to be the most impactful initiative yet towards solving global warming.
Just a few cents from restaurant meals or other food purchases, in aggregate, can create acres and acres of healthy soil and shift us from the extractive “conventional” agricultural system to a renewable food system. In fact, healthy soil could sequester all the carbon humans emit every year if farmers and ranchers reduced tilling, applied compost, planted cover crops, and incorporated animal grazing—practices that improve soil health by increasing the amount of life in the soil. That biomass is also carbon coming out of the atmosphere. Unfortunately, today’s industrial food system subsidizes practices that degrade soil, release carbon, deplete nutrients, and mistreat animals and resources.
Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, award-winning restaurateurs, developed Zero Foodprint to support a growing movement of farmers and ranchers who want to use their land to solve climate change but need funding to implement regenerative farming practices. Together, ZFP restaurants, diners, food brands, and farmers are shifting farmland from climate problem to climate solution.
Zero Foodprint promotes regenerative agriculture, which works to undo the damage that extractive agriculture has done to our planet, our health, our food, and our people. Regenerative agriculture offers a set of strategies to restore our food system and store carbon in the form of healthy soil, because it is not enough to reduce emissions or limit pesticides--we must also remove carbon from the atmosphere. The new science of carbon farming shows that we can bring carbon levels back down, but we must scale up regenerative agriculture while also reducing emissions in all sectors of the global economy. Zero Foodprint strives toward a world in which climate change is not merely postponed, but overcome for good.
Each of us bears an individual responsibility to address climate change, but none of us can solve the problem on our own. For the past generation, the good food movement has encouraged people to make the best choices they can afford, but meaningful change will also require systemic investment in sustainable farming as part of a renewable food economy. We envision farmland as a solar panel and we work to connect the public with policy makers and stewards of the land who are creating systems to "improve the grid of food,” with the goal of the movement to include all of us.
Climate change presents an existential threat to humanity, but a disproportionate share of the impact has already been visited upon the least advantaged populations. We believe that climate change is an issue of environmental justice as much as it is a scientific challenge, and that a renewable food economy must work for all people. Zero Foodprint activates a diverse group of partners, members, and grantees in a community of collaboration built on respect for different identities and experiences. Our programs are informed by the concept of climate justice, through the pursuit of systemic change to promote sustainability, access, and equity.
A truly sustainable food system works for individuals on an economic basis, in addition to helping environmentally. Zero Foodprint believes that restoring healthy soil is not only good for the planet, but also for farmers and ranchers, because healthy soil is correlated with profitability and resilience for agricultural businesses; healthy soil practices reduce vulnerability to drought and flood, while also reducing input costs. Shifting away from an extractive system to a regenerative one is a better long term strategy for everyone, from landowners who increase fertility, to workers who avoid harmful chemicals, to member businesses who benefit from ZFP’s collective marketing efforts, to consumers who enjoy food grown in healthy soil. Bringing wealth back into the soil through a new “Table-to-Farm” movement is a win-win-win for humanity.
Become a steward of the land
Join a growing community of sustainably-minded stewards reaping the rewards from responsible farming