Fresh Food

U.S. Receives Low Ranking for Sustainable Food Systems

The scores reflect ample greenhouse gas emissions and waste


Treehugger has published its 2018 rankings of the most sustainable food systems, and you might be surprised to hear that the U.S. isn’t even on the list.

The rankings consider food waste, sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges. France leads the list and is the most sustainable county in the world when it comes to food. 

Thanks to the country's ardent fighting of food waste, an acceptance and adherence of healthy lifestyles and their approach to sustainable agriculture, the French nabbed the crown for the 2018 Food Sustainability Index, an accolade they earned last year as well. France is also the first country in the world to fine supermarkets that throw away products that are still edible.

Scores were calculated for 67 countries.

The top countries are: 

1. France

2. The Netherlands 

3. Canada

4. Finland 

5. Japan

6/7. Denmark (tie)

6/7. Czech Republic (tie)

8. Sweden 

9. Austria 

10. Hungary

The U.S. was No. 26, right between Uganda (25) and Ethiopia (27).

The low U.S. ranking for sustainable agriculture reflects a number of factors, including a high level of greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector, a low proportion of land set aside for organic farming (less than 1% of the total) and a relatively large amount of land (about 22%) devoted to biofuel production and animal feed.

Food waste is also a big issue. In the U.S., food waste comes in at an annual 209.4 pounds (95.1 kilograms) per person; in France, it's 148.1 pounds (67.2 kilograms).  



More from our partners