The effects of climate change can sometimes seem hard to process. Although we can feel the effects of unsettled and extreme weather around us, and we see reports of devastating flooding in India and forest fires in Greece and parts of the US, it can be easy to pretend it doesn’t affect you if you aren’t in that part of the world.
Of course, the undeniable truth is that global warming is having vast and far-reaching consequences on all of our lives – and it may just hit us all one place that we can’t ignore – in our kitchen cupboards.
Unpredictable and constantly changing weather circumstances are having a huge knock on effect on the supermarket shelves, with expert predicting a huge rise in droughts. Everything from our morning drink to our store cupboard staples such as cloves production is likely to be affected – here are x pantry staples we may have to re-think sooner than expected…
The cheerful yellow fruit is a breakfast staple or a handy post-gym snack for many of us, but it could well be under threat. Banana crops can be devastated by Panama disease, which originated in its namesake country but has now jumped continents and is ravaging crops as far away as Mozambique and Jordan.
Prawns and Shellfish
It isn’t just fruit and vegetables under threat, but a seafood dinner could increasingly be a thing of the past. This is due to dramatic changes to marine chemistry impacting the delicate ocean ecosystem. Around 40% of carbon dioxide human activity releases into the atmosphere then dissolves into the ocean’s waters, and this is causing untold damage.
If all this doom and gloom is making you want to pour a large glass of wine, that too could come under threat. Wine-producing regions around the globe are seeing their vineyards battered by torrential rains, hail, unseasonal dry spells and heat waves that leave plants at odds with their natural pattern of growth, irretrievably altering the taste or ruining grape crops entirely.
It’s a favorite treat for most of us, but chocolate won’t escape the ruinous effects of climate change. The rising global temperature is affecting the growth of cocoa beans in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, which supply most of the world’s chocolate. Our favorite sweet treat is in dire straits.
Most of us couldn’t survive without our daily Americano. But it’s little surprise that coffee bean crops are also being hit hard by climate changes. The beans are highly sensitive, and just half a degree change in the temperature begins to affect production. It isn’t just the temperature that brings threats – related factors such as continuing deforestation, and infestations which damage and destroy the beans.
The trope of Millennials is also suffering shortages. We’ve all seen the Californian droughts in the news, and food scientists are now predicting a 40% drop on current yields due to this. That is already causing price rises and could soon see all the wry comments about Millennials not affording mortgages due to an avocado toast habit coming true.