The Impact of Climate Change on Food Safety, Sustainability, Security and Nutrition

Research Project:

The Impact of Climate Change on Food Safety, Sustainability, Security and Nutrition

Brief Summary: This ILSI project aims to bring together interdisciplinary teams to identify future challenges to the safety, sustainability and nutritional content of the food supply that can be directly linked to climatic factors, such catastrophic weather events, rising sea levels, drought or flooding. Understanding these risks and their likely consequences will pave the way for proactive changes in how global regions will safely and sustainably grow and process nutritious foods in the future. Presented by Lee-Ann Jaykus.

Rationale and Approach: There is a growing need for solving a set of complex and recalcitrant problems that inherently involves the collaboration of many disciplines across much expertise in order to address climate changes as viewed from the perspective of food safety, sustainability, security and nutrition, all of which are impacted by global climate change (1). The nutrient content of the world’s food supply varies depending on the food type; the growing environment (e.g., soil, water, temperature); the methods used to harvest, store and distribute the food items; and the processes used to preserve (e.g., fresh, heat-treated, frozen) and prepare these items for consumption (2-4). Additionally, the past consumption of food containing microbial and chemical contamination comes from sources created from lack of observance on the environment. In order to address these issues, the approach for utilizing a multidisciplinary team of scientist will need to be promoted; whose role will be to development and implement the use of sustainable agricultural and food processing practices worldwide (5- 6).  Likewise, this proposal will be centered on the on identification of future research needs, and team building to bring together inter-disciplinary and collaborative scientists from areas of microbiology, toxicology, agricultural sciences and in the government sector such as USDA, ARS NIFA, and CDC.


  • Establish a committee and perform a systematic review
  • Perform deep dive identifying any potential issues into next decade.
  • Establish a timeline to integrate food safety, nutrition, and sustainability into global climate change research agenda.


  • Establishing new multi-disciplinary networks.
  • Identification of a future research agenda with inclusion of prioritization of topics.
  • Setting the stage for future research projects to be potentially funded by ILSI, federal and international agencies and entities.


  1. Fanzo, J., et al. (2018) The effect of climate change across food systems: implications for nutrition outcomes. Global Food Security 18: 12-19.
  2. Meybeck, A., et al. (2018) Food security and nutrition in the age of climate change. Proceedings of the International Symposium organized by the Government of Quebec in Collaboration with FAO. Quebec City, September 24-27, 2017. Rome, FAO. Pp 132. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  3. Fanzo, J., et al. (2021) The importance of food systems and the environment for nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr 113(1): 7-16.
  4. Food and Agriculture Organization; “Climate Change: Unpacking the Burden on Food Safety” Report, 2020.
  5. Hatfield, J.L., et al. 2011. Climate impacts on agriculture: Implications for crop production. Agronomy Journal 103(2): 351.
  6. Cho, S.J., et al. (2017) Climate change influences on crop mix shifts in the United States. Scientific Report 7: 40845.

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