Foods we can never eat because of climate change
Climate change has been a major concern for human beings because with global warming there has been quite a major change in the lifestyle which also includes food. Because of the climate change many food items are being extinct or delayed from its seasonal appearance. As worsening drought and extreme weather devastate crops, you may begin seeing global warming when you open your fridge.
So let’s see which are those food items which will change its pace and appearance in a few years.
Corn (and the animals that eat it)
Water shortages and warmer temperatures are bad news for corn: in fact, a global rise in temperatures of just 1C (1.8F) would slow the rate of growth by 7%. The impact of a disruption in corn production would extend far beyond the produce section at the supermarket. A great deal of US corn goes to feed livestock, so lower corn yields could mean higher meat prices, and fewer servings of meat per capita.
Higher-than-average temperatures and shifting weather patterns in the tropics have made “coffee rust” fungus and invasive species the new norm on coffee plantations. And, to make things worse, a severe drought in Brazil this spring caused prices to skyrocket. Some analysts are predicting that, if the current trends continue, Latin American coffee production could relocate to Asia.
According to a widely cited 2011 study from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), cacao beans – the raw ingredient in chocolate – will become much less plentiful over the next few decades. The main problem is rising temperatures and falling water supplies: in the African nations of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, temperatures are predicted to rise by at least 2C by 2050. This, in turn, will increase “evapotranspiration” in the cocoa trees, causing them to lose more water to the air and reducing their yield.
In addition to its impacts on land, climate change can also contribute to rising levels of CO2 in the ocean. This, in turn, leads to ocean acidification, which could threaten a whole range of edible ocean creatures. For example, the shells of young oysters and other calcifying organisms are likely to grow less and less sturdy over time, as the oceans’ acidity increases. The UK’s chief scientist, Sir Mark Walport, recently announced that thanks to man-made CO2, the acidity of the oceans has increased by about 25% since the start of the industrial revolution.
Wetter winters and drier summers are putting more stress on sugar maples, the trees whose sap is needed to produce maple syrup. In the winter, the trees need freezing temperatures to fuel the expansion and contraction process that they use to produce the necessary sap. Rising temperatures are already causing sap to flow earlier: according to some estimates, this may push up maple production by up to a month by the end of the next century.
Beans feed the majority of the population in Latin America and much of Africa, but the hearty legumes might be quailing in the face of climate change. According to a report from CIAT, higher temperatures affect flowering and seed production in bean vines, reducing yields by as much as 25%. And in bean-growing regions, too much rain – in the form of storms and floods – will likely destroy some crops as well.
Stone fruits, particularly cherries, require chill hours to bear fruit; too few cold nights and the trees are less likely to achieve successful pollination. On the west coast, where the bulk of sweet cherries are grown, rising temperatures mean that trees might flower later and produce fewer fruits.
Thanks to warmer temperatures, wine grapes will likely soon be in higher demand – making wine more expensive. A 2013 study predicted that “major global geographic shifts” among wine growers – as well as fluctuations in temperature and moisture levels in Europe, Australia, North American, and South Africa – will essentially make the perfect wine grape a moving target. Australia will probably be hit the hardest, as 73% of the land, there could be unsuitable for growing grapes by 2050. California’s loss is nearly as high at 70%.