Endangered Foods

What would get you to really want to confront and try to stop the Climate Change? Maybe if your favourite food or drink would dissapear otherwise?

An article from Italian La Repubblica lists a couple of foods which might soon dissapear from supermarket shelfs. I don’t know what your heart beats for, but possibly one of the following is on the list: Chocolate, coffee, peanuts, tequila, bourbon, honey, but even bread and wine are on the list of threatened foods.

We hear about species extinction all the time and we don’t really care that much (hardly anybody read my post on the growing red list). This might change when the plants dissapearing are the ones that bring us our favourite snacks and drinks.

So what exactly is happening? The problem is complicated  but I will try to break it down for you. Rainfall is very important for crops. The changing climate and temperature are also influencing the rain cycles. Scientists are observing that the rain is slowly moving away from those hot regions where plants like chocolate and coffee beans are grown. Soils are drying out and more and more rainforests are being cut down to produce crops like soy beans in order to feed the growing number of world citizens. The problems differ from one food crop to the other:

Chocolate: Huliq writes: “scientists predict chocolate scarcity. Director of the Nature Conservation Research Council, John Mayson says, “In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar… so rare and expensive that the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it.” The problem with chocolate is that the plant requires a complicated combination of climates: “the trees’ natural ripening process requires rich soil, high humidity and rainfall.” If rain stops falling, chocolate stops growing.

Coffee: “In Colombia, the world’s third-biggest coffee producer, agricultural scientist Peter Baker has watched while record rainfall, increased heat, and frequent plagues have devastated farms across the country’s Andean coffee- growing region”, writes the Good magazine in an article titled “The end of cheap coffee”.

Bread: Grain prices have been fluctuating over the last couple of years causing food crises and unrest. This is likely to continue and prices for bread will keep on rising. In the case of bread we are up against big companies trading food on markets – like the financial one – and we know what happend there…

Honey: I have already covered some problems in the honey production some days ago, you can find it all here.

Peanuts: The case with peanuts seems not yet to be clear but the States, main consumer of peanut butter, have already experienced a shortage in peanuts and rising prices of their beloved bread-spread.

Agave: I am personally worried about agave nectar, but you might think of tequila. Anyway, the agave plants growing in Mexico aren’t directly threatened by Climate Change, Good magazine writes, but rather by the fact that peasants may get more income from producing ethanol for the ever-hungry western nations. Speaking of tequila, changing to whiskey mightn’t be working either: bourbon is also on the endangered list.

Wine: At least in the US, wine growth is threatened. “Warming in California’s wine country could cause a 50 percent drop in the amount of wine grapes produced by 2040.”, Good magazine tells us. Many other wine growing countries -like for example Spain – are also experiencing a big impact through the warming planet.

Generally, the future of food security does not look good. I am quite sure that more foods will struggle to survive than we can imagine now. So the question is: what are you ready to do in order to save chocolate, coffee and tequila?

Picture by racineur, gracias.

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5 thoughts on “Endangered Foods

    • Totally agree, especially for people from developing countries, like China, most common people has no clear idea of this whole climate change impact issue. Something straightly direct to people’s self interest will bring us into thinking! Nice post! ^_^

      • Interesting ideas of both of you. So Nannan, what would you think are foods chinese people could not live without?

      • For most Chinese girls, who are Chocolate fans, will lose the enjoyment in our lives. It’s a pity that lots of Chinese people haven’t got a chance to try real Swiss chocolate or red wine, then it will become unaffordable.
        The main food Chinese people eat depends on areas, in the North part, if it is told that there will be no flour sources for their favorite cooked wheaten food (such as various of noodles, dumplings and so on), it equals to no enjoyment in life anymore. The south, rice maybe. It is known that China are famous for food and we spend lots of time on food. Food lost (including kinds of flavor materials) equals to lost kind of enjoyment.

  1. Very interesting Nannan! I’m looking forward to hearing about the replies the chinese version of the article got 🙂

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