Danielle Nierenberg

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Danielle Nierenberg
Danielle Nierenberg - Festivaletteratura 2012.JPG
Danielle Nierenberg in 2012
Alma materTufts University; Monmouth College
OccupationAuthor, journalist

Danielle J. Nierenberg is an American activist,[1] author and journalist.

In 2013, Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank: The Think Tank For Food and currently serves as its president. She founded Nourishing the Planet while working at the Worldwatch Institute.[2]

Nierenberg has authored and contributed to several reports and books, and written for many publications. She is the winner of the 2020 Julia Child Award,[3] which celebrates leaders who are impacting the world through food.

Early life and education[edit]

Nierenberg was born and raised in Defiance, Missouri.[4][5] She holds an MSc in agriculture, food, and environment from Tufts University[6] and a BA in environmental policy from Monmouth College, Illinois.[7]


After she completed her education at Monmouth College, Nierenberg joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic[8] and worked with farmers and urban school kids.[4] Since then, she has been working to highlight how the food system can become more sustainable.[5] Following her volunteer work in the Peace Corps, she matriculated at Tufts University and then joined Science and Environmental Health Network as an intern. Later on she joined Worldwatch Institute.[4]

According to Nierenberg, she has been focused on raising awareness about food quality and availability because she "is obsessed with food." She wants "to know what she's having for dinner at lunchtime."[5] She is a reviewer for the Africa Chapter for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change WGII AR5 First Order Draft[9] and serves on the Advisory Group for The Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation.[10] In 2013, she joined the Young Professional's Platform for Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD) Steering Committee.[11] Nierenberg is also a member of the UN Environmental Programme's Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Steering Committee.[12]

Worldwatch Institute[edit]

In 2001, Nierenberg joined the Worldwatch Institute as its Food and Agricultural Senior Researcher, where she managed several research projects on emerging infectious diseases related to the food system, gender and population, climate change and agriculture, the global meat economy, and innovations in sustainable agriculture.[13]

In 2009 she co-founded the Nourishing the Planet project housed at the Worldwatch Institute and became its director.[14] This post involved overseeing environmental research, communications and development for the Nourishing the Planet project, as well as leading the Nourishing the Planet Advisory Group. As part of this role, Nierenberg spent 18 months in Sub-Saharan Africa, looking for solutions to poverty and hunger in 30 different countries.[15] While working there, she managed a grant of US$1.34 million to assess the state of agricultural innovations.[13][16]

Nierenberg produced State of the World 2011 with the help of 60 international authors. She also organized The State of the World Symposium in January 2011. She left Worldwatch Institute and Nourishing The Planet in 2012.[13]

Food Tank[edit]

In 2013, Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank: The Think Tank For Food, a non-profit organization.[5] The organization aims to offer solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty by creating a network of connections and information.[17] The organization's inaugural Food Tank Summit was held in January 2015 in partnership with The George Washington University.[18] In 2016, the series expanded to Sacramento, CA, São Paulo, Brazil, and Chicago, IL.

The organization was the official North American Partner of the United Nation's International Year of Family Farming with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).[19]

As part of her role at Food Tank, Nierenberg is routinely interviewed in major media as an expert on issues such as food waste,[20] food and artificial intelligence,[21] food insecurity,[22] the meat industry,[23] food and technology,[24] hunger and obesity,[25] food trends,[26] nutrient density,[27] the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the food system,[28] Indigenous crops,[29] food labeling/expiration dates,[30] urban agriculture,[31] and women in the food system.[32]

Published work[edit]

Nierenberg has written extensively on gender and population, the spread of factory farming in the developing world, and innovations in sustainable agriculture.[13]

She has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times,[33] the Chicago Tribune,[34] USA Today,[35] The China Daily.[36] The Washington Post,[37] Le Monde,[38] Bloomberg Businessweek,[39] MSNBC,[40] Al Jazeera,[41] the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,[42] the International Herald Tribune, BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, The Guardian (UK),[43] The Telegraph (UK),[44] Voice of America, the Times of India, and the Sydney Morning Herald.[45]

Nierenberg's first book was titled Correcting Gender Myopia: Gender Equity, Women's Welfare, and the Environment and was published by the Worldwatch Institute in 2002.[46] In 2005, she wrote Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry, presenting the effects of the growth of factory farming and cataloging the harmful effects it can have on the world, especially in developing countries.[47] In 2012, she wrote Eating Planet 2012, which was presented during an event at the Literature Festival in Mantua in September.[48]

In partnership with the James Beard Foundation, Nierenberg and Food Tank publish an annual Good Food Org Guide, a directory of non-profit organizations working for a better food system [49]


Nierenberg hosts the podcast “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,"[50] interviewing leaders in food such as Michael Pollan,[51] Questlove,[52] Michael Moss,[53] José Andrés,[54] Tom Colicchio,[55] Dan Barber,[56] Mark Hyman,[57] and hundreds more since 2018.


  • Correcting Gender Myopia: Gender Equity, Women's Welfare, and the Environment (2002) ISBN 978-1878071644
  • Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry (2005) ISBN 978-1878071774
  • State of the World 2007 (Chapter 3 – Farming the Cities) (2007) ISBN 978-0393329230
  • State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet (2011) ISBN 978-0393338805
  • Eating Planet–Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet (2012) ISBN 978-8866270294
  • 17 Big Bets for a Better World (2016) ISBN 978-8793229549
  • Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future (2017) ISBN 978-1616895303
  • Eating Planet 2016 (2016)
  • Food and Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability (2012)

She has also written on sustainable agriculture, in The Guardian,[58] Bloomberg Businessweek,[59] and the Huffington Post.[60] and has had opinion-editorials published in the largest circulating newspapers in 40 states and also The New York Times,[33] The Wall Street Journal,[61] USA Today[35] The China Daily.[36] She routinely appears in major broadcast media including MSNBC,[62] Fox News[63] and Al Jazeera.[64]


  1. ^ Shreeves, Robin (January 19, 2013). "FoodTank: Planting the seeds of activism". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  2. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg: Former Resident of Defiance Reports on State of the World from Africa". River Front Times. January 11, 2011. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  3. ^ Chris. "Danielle Nierenberg". The Julia Child Award. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  4. ^ a b c Richardson, Jill. "Interview with Danielle Nierenberg". lavidalocavore.org. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Brown, Corie. "Danielle Nierenberg Wants To Save The World". Zester Daily. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  6. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg". The Guardian. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  7. ^ "Monmouth Alumni". Forbes. August 5, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  8. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg". 2012 Borlaug Dialogue. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Welcoming a new YPARD Steering Committee member: Danielle Nierenberg!". Ypard.net. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  10. ^ "Innovation Fund - The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation". thekrogercozerohungerzerowastefoundation.com. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  11. ^ "Welcoming a new YPARD Steering Committee member: Danielle Nierenberg!". Young Professional's Platform for Agricultural Research for Development. May 13, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "TEEBAgriFood Steering Committee". TEEB. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  13. ^ a b c d "About Me". Danielle Nierenberg. Danielle Nierenberg. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  14. ^ "African land grab threatens food security: study". Reuters. July 26, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  15. ^ "African agricultural innovations boost continental food production". Voice of America. June 5, 2011. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  16. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg". Impatient Optimists. July 12, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  17. ^ "About Food Tank". Food Tank. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "Food Task Force" GWU Health & Wellness. Retrieved October 18, 2015
  19. ^ "Discussions" FAO. Source date October 12, 2014 Retrieved October 18, 2015
  20. ^ "G20 consumers wasting more than 2,100 kg — the equivalent of a large car — in food every year". nationalpost. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  21. ^ Artificial intelligence could revolutionize farming industry, retrieved 2021-09-19
  22. ^ "Fighting Food Insecurity | Virginia Ali and Danielle Nierenberg". Washington Post. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  23. ^ "Epicurious drops beef recipes, drawing ire from the pro-burger crowd — and some food activists". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  24. ^ Nierenberg, Tom Vilsack and Danielle. "Our nation needs to accelerate artificial intelligence for farm tech". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  25. ^ "Malnutrition Hits The Obese As Well As The Underfed". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  26. ^ Ewing-Chow, Daphne. "Here's What It Will Take To Be A Foodie In The 2020s". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  27. ^ "How to feed a booming population without destroying the planet". Environment. 2019-07-17. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  28. ^ Wernau, Julie (2020-04-28). "Cheese Off a Truck: Farmers Try to Salvage Food, and Some Sales". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  29. ^ Jha, Preeti. "Are forgotten crops the future of food?". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  30. ^ "What's The Most Important Thing Food Labels Should Tell Us?". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  31. ^ Wells, Ken (2018-10-03). "The New American Garden Is Edible". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  32. ^ "9 reasons why gender matters when improving global nutrition". the Guardian. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  33. ^ a b Halweil, Brian; Nierenberg, Danielle (30 June 2012). "The Kindest Cut of Meat Is Ground". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  34. ^ Nierenberg, Danielle (29 December 2011). "Going green: 12 simple steps". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  35. ^ a b Nierenberg, Danielle; Massey, Abby (15 June 2010). "In a world of abundance, food waste is a crime". USA Today. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  36. ^ a b "Higher income versus better health". Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  37. ^ Carmon, Tim (8 January 2013). "New sites want you to better understand your food". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  38. ^ "L'agriculture est une solution aux problèmes du monde" (PDF). Le Monde. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  39. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  40. ^ "MSNBC - U.S. Cable". TVEyes. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  41. ^ "World Bank: Food costs at record levels again". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  42. ^ "Reduce food waste to feed the hunger: Worldwatch Institute" (PDF). Worldwatch. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  43. ^ Nierenberg, Danielle (28 December 2010). "To reduce hunger, put innovation on the menu". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  44. ^ "10 ways to teach your child to eat well" The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  45. ^ "Time to end our deadly diet" Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  46. ^ Nierenberg, Danielle (2002). Correcting Gender Myopia: Gender Equity, Women's Welfare, and the Environment. Worldwatch Institute. ISBN 978-1-878071-63-7.
  47. ^ Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry. Retrieved 20 November 2012 – via Google Books.
  48. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg and Andrea Segrè will talk about Eating Planet at the Mantua International Literature Festival". BCFN Schedule. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  49. ^ "Introducing the Good Food Org Guide". The Official James Beard Foundation Blog: Delights and Prejudices. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  50. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank) on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  51. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank): 201. A Conversation with Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma in 2020. on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  52. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank): 29. All Communities Deserve Innovative Approaches to Nutrition—Questlove, Thomas". foodtalk.libsyn.com. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  53. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank): 243. Michael Moss on Hooked: Food, Free Will, & How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addiction on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  54. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank): 209. A Conversation With Chef José Andrés (World Central Kitchen) on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  55. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank): 191. Tom Colicchio on the Fight to Save Independent Restaurants, Irving Fain on Vertical Farming to Create a Sustainable and Safe Food on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  56. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank): 130. Dan Barber and Luke Saunders on Keeping the Farm-to-Community Connection During COVID-19 on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  57. ^ "Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg (by Food Tank): 80. Food: Cause—And Cure—For Health and Environment, Says Dr. Hyman on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  58. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg | Global development". The Guardian. London. 28 December 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  59. ^ "A New Year's Recipe for Fixing the Food System" Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2014-10-12.
  60. ^ "Danielle Nierenberg". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  61. ^ "Hungering for a Solution to Food Losses". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  62. ^ "Climate change could make a hungry world much hungrier" MSNBC. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  63. ^ "Athletes who are changing the way we eat" Fox News. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  64. ^ "World Bank: Food costs at record levels again" Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2014-10-13.

External links[edit]