Green Feeding means healthy local and sustainable Food. Green Feeding starts with Breastfeeding which has a positive impact on our climate and environment.
updated March 29, 2021
Breastfeeding is local food
Breastfeeding contributes to the prevention of global warming, protects biodiversity and conserves natural resources. Green Feeding includes community support for exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and the addition of appropriate complementary foods for older babies.
Documents on Green Feeding
- Green Feeding Trailer, in English, 2 pages (Nov 18, 2019)
- Green Feeding Europe and Worldwide 2019 in English, 21 pages (Dec 4, 2019)
- Green Feeding Key messages 2019 in English, 2 pages (Dec 2, 2019)
- Green Feeding References and Resources 2019, 5 pages (Dec 2, 2019)
- Green Feeding Canada in English, 10 pages (June 20, 2019)
- Green Feeding Messages Clés 2019 en français, 2 pages (16 oct 2019)
- Innovative method to estimate GHG emissions for Formula (2018)
- Extinction Rebellion flyer on Breastfeeding – Green Feeding in English (Dec 2, 2019)
- Support for breastfeeding is an environmental imperative Joffe N et al, BMJ 2 October 2019
- New Zealand Priority Actions for Climate Health 2018 states: Promote breast-feeding and plant-based diets to support both human and planetary health.
- Formula For Disaster (updated 2015). Weighing the Impact of Formula Feeding Vs Breastfeeding on Environment.
- What’s in Breastmilk and Formula (poster)
- A commentary on the carbon footprint of milk formula: harms to planetary health and policy implications. Julie P. Smith (2019)
- BPNI (Breastfeeding Promotion Network India) Carbon footprint documents are available on its website at:
What about Baby foods?
After 6 months, baby eats first foods. Families should be allowed to make feeding decisions free from commercial pressures: for babies, toddlers and young children. Sustained breastfeeding needs support for as long as the family wants. Breastmilk continues to be precious sources of nutrition, especially when complemented by safe and nutritious family foods, locally produced using sustainable agriculture. Home-prepared family foods are minimally processed so offer value for money. Sustainable local agriculture provides foods that are biodiverse, reliable, and culturally appropriate. Community support can be undermined by marketing and promotion of ultra-processed foods. This is the reason the International Code of Marketing is crucial.
What about UPFs?
Ultra-processed foods UPF are a risk for health. Giving formula in comparison to breastfeeding is giving UPF to our children. Check our News page.
What is the Green Feeding campaign?
Green Feeding is an advocacy campaign prepared by IBFAN, GIFA and Canadian partners. It is aimed at decision-makers, parents, young people and care-givers. The objective is to raise awareness of the need to take action from birth to safeguard the health of humans and our environment:
- Green Feeding recognises breastfeeding as a sustainable and valuable natural resource that has no negative impact on our environment: no scarce resources are used, no pollution is caused by transport, no garbage is produced by packaging, and expenditure on health costs to treat disease is reduced.
- Breastfeeding is under serious threat from commercial practices and urgently needs to be protected, promoted and supported.
- Green Feeding includes the introduction, after six months of age, of complementary foods that are safe and nutritious, and produced using local products and sustainable agriculture.
Support Breastfeeding for a healthier Planet
Green Feeding at 3rd World Breastfeeding Conference (WBC) 2019
Slides and film from 3rd World Breastfeeding Conference (WBC) in Rio de Janeiro, Nov 2019
1) Dr JP Dadhich’s Presentation at WBC3 (20 slides)
2) Alison Linnecar’s Presentation at WBC3 (mp4)
3) Fedora Bernard’s Presentation at WBC3 (17 slides)
Climate Change on UN Agenda 2019
Between May and September 2019, global warming has turned into global heating, and climate change has become a climate emergency.
The United Nations has sounded the fire alarm and in September the 2019 UN Climate Summit calls for us all to “Commit to invest in climate action, public health and sustainable development.”
The UN Climate Summit speaks of “A race we can win”. The UN website lists examples of climate action, including food: https://www.un.org/en/actnow/
To win this race against time, we need to inform and mobilise – and we need to start at the very beginning of our lives with Green Feeding which means Breastfeeding and giving local complementary foods to our children.
In 2015, IBFAN-GIFA published the brochure on Climate Change and Health advocating breastfeeding as an eco-bio-logical way to protect both our health and the health of our planet, especially in times of crisis. Downloads available in English , French , Spanish , Russian , Italian
- Breastfeeding is the first step in protecting human health in the short and long term.
- Breastfeeding is the first step towards protecting the environment and preserving the planet.
- Breastfeeding helps to save lives and relieve suffering in crisis and shortage situations that are arising as a result of climate change.
In 2014, IBFAN published ‘Formula For Disaster’. Weighing the Impact of Formula Feeding Vs Breastfeeding on Environment’. This report was updated in 2015 and is available in English, Italian and French as Alimentation artificielle – désastre écologique, it compares in detail the ecological impact of breastfeeding on the one hand, and industrial infant feeding on the other. The comparison between the two methods of feeding relates to the use of the planet’s resources (energy, metals, plastics, fuels, water and wood). While artificial feeding depletes the planet’s resources and has a heavy carbon and water footprint, breastfeeding saves energy and water and promotes not only improved maternal and child health, but also the better health of the planet.
In 2012, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), IBFAN-GIFA prepared a poster on the theme of “The Earth is our Mother” in collaboration with WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action). Download poster and text for RIO + 20: English, Spanish , Portuguese , French
In 1997, WABA declared the theme for World Breastfeedin Week (WBW) as “Breastfeeding – Nature’s Way” and underpined the ecological benefits of breastfeeding. In 2020, this is even more relevant and this year’s theme is “Support Breastfeeding for a healthier planet”.
For more information….
- IBFAN website section on Climate Action and environmental awareness.
- IBFAN statement on climate and health at the 136th session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization, January 2015
- Formula for Disaster: UNICEF documentary (FULL VIDEO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PBtb-UDhEc
- Letter to Pope Francis (2015): Italian , Spanish , Englis
- IBFAN-GIFA document on climate change and health in French: Changement climatique et santé (2015)
- The Telegraph article https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/10/02/breastfeed-save-planet-scientists-say-study-exposes-infant-formula/