Food that could disappear from our plates
Climate change, impoverishment of land, unsustainable practices in farming and fishing exploitations are endangering a wide range of species: both animals and plants.
A British association has expressed its intention to “Save our bacon”. Because of the dryness in Europe and in the US, the price of the food given to porks is increasing. It will be more and more difficult for the farmers to provide meat to the global market, and to face the consumers’ demand. Pork production is not the only one which will suffer from the vagaries of the climate.
Up to 80% of the world’s fish stocks are over-exploited, according to the Sustainable Seafood Guide. Reg Watson, from British Columbia University, declares that we will reach the “peak fish” and the peak oil at the same time. Australia is reacting to this over exploitation. A guide of good practices concerning seafood consumption was written. It gives information on how to preserve fishing resources.
Ghana and Ivory Coast are the two biggest producers of cocoa. According to the centre for Tropical Agriculture rising temperatures in this part of the world could affect cocoa cultures. Indeed cocoa trees are very sensitive species. The production of cocoa could decline catastrophically.
Producers are often smallholders, they can’t afford to make the necessary investments on their own. That’s why governments have to intervene. For example they could help find more resistant species and develop irrigation systems, otherwise the cocoa production could crash.
Because of global warming, coffee crops are threatened all over the coffee production regions. Even big companies, like Starbucks, are worried: how could they be supplied in the next 10, 20 or 30 years if the pressure on arabica beans grows up ?
Dryness is also endangering the production of hop and barley, the main components of the beer recipe. Even if in 2009 the European Union gave 9 million Euros for irrigation system in order to help hops’ crops survive drier summers, there could be a shortage on beer. For the first time since 1990, German brewing dropped of 100 million hectoliters.
This list of threatened food is not exhaustive, we must think about changing our consumption models. Otherwise present could become history, history could become legend and things that should not be forgotten could get lost.