Try Not to Panic But These Foods Are Going Extinct Due to Climate Change
Climate change is already resulting in a huge number of consequences on a global scale, but one side effect some of might not have considered is the extinction of our favorite food and beverage items as the result of the deviation of Earth’s natural cycles. Below are just a few of those products, and what exactly makes them at risk of disappearing forever.
Our favorite foods
For many, avocados are more than just a favorite food, but almost a way of life. From guacamole to avocado toast, this nutrient-dense fruit is the main ingredient in many healthy recipes. Unfortunately, avocados are extremely sensitive to the weather and particularly slow growing, which makes them especially vulnerable to the effect of climate change.
Sweet-toothed consumers and purveyors of breakfast foods might be alarmed to hear that Southern producers of maple syrup fear that prime production areas like Virginia will get warmer and warmer, making it impossible to tap for syrup.
Speaking of sugary vices, chocolate production is already on the decline as the change in climates in places like Indonesia and Ghana mean less cocoa beans. While major chocolate companies are hiring meteorologists in an attempt to determine oncoming weather shifts, as Katie Johnson, Senior Manager on the commercial applied research team points out, anticipating what the climate will be like 10, 20, or even 100 years from now is quite challenging.
Our favorite beverages
According to the Climate Institute, the areas around the world that are most suitable for coffee production may decrease by 50% due to climate change. Climate change has made coffee crops vulnerable to diseases (like coffee rust), which in turn have wiped out more than $1 billion in crops. “Coffee supports the livelihoods of 125 million people around the world, including some of the most marginalized and poor people in developing countries,” explains Molly Harriss Olson, Chief Executive of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand. “If we don’t do something about it soon, the consequences for these people are going to be absolutely devastating.”
Due to extreme temperatures resulting in drought, brewers are beginning to fear that a shortage of river water may force them to have to brew with groundwater, leading to a, frankly, bad-tasting beer.
Wait, there’s more?!
Unfortunately, the list goes on. While oysters are currently thriving in warmer waters, it also makes them more susceptible to oyster drills (snails that attach and eat oysters) – a multi-million-dollar problem in the industry that could only get worse. Meanwhile baby lobsters are unable to survive in warmer temperatures. According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, lobsters could go from a $330 million business to extinct by the year 2100.
At the end of the day, businesses are built on fluctuations and seasonality. The reality is that major changes likes these will create opportunities for some brands while creating shortages and problems for others. The key is to see the signs beforehand and make sure that, as a brand, you’re reacting on time.
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