Coffee, Chocolate & Beer? What Other Foods Do You Think Climate Change Will Impact
What if someone were to tell you, chocolate, beer & coffee would get expensive and/or not be available for consumption? Climate change is real. California was ravaged by wildfire this year, hurricanes and cyclones are worsening into monstrous superstorms, if that isn’t a wake-up call, then maybe knowing that a cup of joe or a pint of beer will cost you more, should be. Raltin looks at the effects of climate change on the foods we eat and drink.
One of the biggest concerns of climate change is its impact on agriculture across developing countries and developed countries alike, as it worsens now and in the future. Many studies have suggested rising temperatures could adversely affect wheat, the most consumed crop of our times. This means it could have a direct impact on production of wheat-based products which include bread, pasta, cakes, breakfast cereal, and noodles.
The main ingredient for beer is barley, which is sensitive to extreme drought and heat. And now according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Plants, climate change will lead to substantial decreases in barley crop yields, causing beer shortages and a sharp rise in the price of a pint.
While there is no direct evidence to back the claim of a total disappearance of chocolate in the next 30 years, the experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are saying that by 2050 climate change will seriously imperil cacao plants- main ingredient for making chocolate.
The bacon industry is big in the U.S., worth about $20 billion. In recent studies, scientists have found that hotter weather causes pigs to eat less. That, in turn, makes them less fertile, and they make leaner, smaller piglets that can't store protein as well. The problem gets passed down. In order to raise healthy pigs in cooler shelters, they have to invest time and money. This translates into an increase in bacon prices.
Fickle weather, spring frosts and summer storms have damaged vineyards in France leading to grape rot in Champagne and Bordeaux. The country’s production of wine overall hasn’t been this low in 60 years. In Australia, it is reported that by 2050, 73% of the land will be unsuitable for growing grapes. California’s loss is nearly as high at 70%.
Brazil, the top coffee grower, responsible for about 40% of global production, has been battling drought in the past few years that curbed crops. Researchers warn that the suitable area for the beans will shrink furthermore as temperatures rise. Recently, Arabica coffee beans, by far the most popular variety of coffee, have been fetching around $2 (US) per pound on the world market. That’s nearly double the price since the past year.
Increasing temperatures are likely to have a significant impact on fruit production. Higher temperatures affect every part of the fruit's life cycle, from more pests to changing color etc. In Australia, researches opined that by 2030, winters in some of Australia’s fruit-growing regions may be too mild to support apple trees.