The Thinking

Vegetables Stand Pike Place Market ~ Seattle, Washington (Prayitno)
Vegetable Stand, Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington. (Photo Credit: Prayitno)

Food Tank is re-framing the current dialogue about the global food system by marshaling increased awareness and research, and encouraging more investment in environmentally sustainable food and agriculture initiatives and innovation. Through public education, convening and events, aggregation and dissemination of current research and innovation, as well as the execution of new research, Food Tank seeks to align agricultural systems with nutritionally sound and environmentally responsible food systems that will bring about sustainable growth for farmers and entrepreneurs—and healthy food for eaters.

What makes Food Tank different?

Many organizations are undertaking efforts to alleviate hunger, obesity and poverty, and improve environmental sustainability. Some have pre-determined solutions that do not adequately account for cultural, structural, academic and political barriers. Others bring multiple-stakeholders together to write reports, but they do not end up with concrete action—and solutions.

Food Tank aims to take a new approach to solving these issues by…

Ellen G. With Kenyan students in Kibera 2009 (Ellen)
Ellen Gustafson with Kenyan students in Kibera, 2009. (Photo Credit: Feed Project)
Engaging multiple—and seemingly disparate—stakeholders.

Organizations working on hunger and those working on obesity have much more in common then they think. Groups fighting to change the behaviors of Big Agriculture can often find sustainable alternatives in agroecological practices and small- and medium-scale farming. If we want to change the global food system we need to focus on the common causes and solutions among all of the groups working on these issues. Food Tank is a clearinghouse for information across the whole range of food system topics, seamlessly addressing multi-faceted global and domestic food issues. Food Tank seeks to dissect this vast collection of information for a broad, non-expert audience.

Uniting the voices of the next generation’s global food movement.

Between a greater understanding of our own food consumption and a larger concern for changing the current systems that cause people misery and poverty, the next generation is increasingly interested in learning more about sustainability, global health, and food security. Food Tank has a finger on the pulse of new, innovative thinking and a vast network of eager and engaged members.

Leveraging lasting partnerships while producing independent content.

Food Tank has a demonstrated track record of conducting independent research while working with reputable, mainstream media outlets around the world to publish impactful journalistic pieces. Through non-partisan and non-ideological content development, Food Tank connects a vast audience of farmers, consumers, and industry representatives worldwide. This range of connections and followers is essential to truly bring about short- and long-term change.

Danielle Nierenberg visits with Children while learning about Developing Innovations in School Cultivation [DSIC], Uganda (Bernard Pollack)

Danielle Nierenberg visits with children while learning about Developing Innovations in School Cultivation [DISC], Uganda, 2012. (Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack)

Reaching audiences of all interests and skill levels.

Most of the great research done by existing organizations is often not accessible or friendly to non-experts, and therefore fails to reach a large audience. Food Tank has a proven track record of taking complicated research and making it accessible. We are featured daily in major news outlets.

Focusing on concrete actions and solutions.

From the U.S. to Ghana, extraordinary innovations in sustainable agriculture are being developed both through technology and the sharing of time-tested methods of indigenous peoples. The solutions are out there, we just need to communicate and collaborate so that everyone can benefit from our shared knowledge.

Participating in and encouraging active food citizenship.

Food Tank staff regularly attend and participate in high profile events, U.S. and international conferences, various policy meetings, and small roundtable dialogues across the broad spectrum of food system issues in order to stay abreast of important trends, quickly digest information, and produce innovative programming and content.

Giving voice and support to people normally excluded from the conversation.

Most systems aren’t “one size fits all,” but agricultural research and development programs usually take this approach to their work, ignoring the expertise of local smallholder farmers and indigenous peoples. These groups have valuable knowledge about local conditions and communities’ immediate needs. Around the world, Ellen and Danielle encountered individuals and organizations developing innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the most pressing issues in food and agriculture, eager to share their knowledge and experience on what is working in the food system. Food Tank is a response to a demand for a network through which to share data and social and technical innovations.

Help Us Sign Up New Food Tank Sustainers!

Since our launch, you've seen the energy and momentum behind Food Tank, an independent voice seeking sustainable solutions for our broken food system. Now, we need your help. To keep Food Tank moving forward, we need to sign up new sustaining members!

Become a Food Tank Sustainer today.

Sign a Petition in Support of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming

Food Tank is joining the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and over 360 civil society and farmer's organizations in celebrating the International Year of Family Farming.

Upcoming Events

April 29, Online Webinar: Forsaken Food: The Impact and Opportunity of Food Waste

Food Tank is hosting this event.

May 2, Washington D.C. : Food: A Forum

Danielle will be speaking at this event.

May 10, New York City : Edible Institute

Danielle will be speaking on a panel at this event.

May 22, Washington D.C. : Global Food Security Symposium 2014

Danielle will be speaking and Food Tank will be live posting at this event.

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Writing positions, internships, and other jobs are available.