The Center for Food & Environment (CFE) is part of the Program in Nutrition, Department of Health & Behavior Studies, Teachers College Columbia University. CFE focuses on research, education, and policy.


The seed for the Center for Food & Environment (CFE) was planted in the 1970s when Joan Gussow Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Education at Teachers College pioneered the vision of local and sustainable food systems. At that time, the Program in Nutrition began educating local New York City school children through its EarthFriends program that teaches children, “The Whole Story of Food.” In the mid-1990s, faculty members Toni Liquori, Isobel Contento, and Pam Koch developed Cookshop™ a beloved food and nutrition education program in New York City schools that connects classroom education and school meals with regional farms.

In the late 1990s, we received funding to develop an inquiry-based nutrition and science education curriculum, Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE). Because of the ideas, thoughts, and dedication of so many, our work has grown and expanded to include investigation of the interplay of biology and personal behavior with the present food system and technological environment, which encourage overconsumption and sedentary behavior.

girl with plant