Climate Change & Food Supply

The New York Times has documented the loss of important crops (coffee!) in Central America due primarily to Climate Change. This is an economic disaster for farmers and their families many of whom are joining a mass migration north. Climate Change, which destroys crops on farms that were already marginal, is a major contributor to refugee desperation around the globe. The world could see over 1 billion climate migrants by the end of this century.” (The Lancet Countdown Report. October 2017). A Warming World Creates Desperate People.

Farms in the USA are also in trouble. “Farming is no different than gambling,” said Sarah Frey, whose collection of farms throughout the South and the Midwest grows much of the nation’s crop of watermelons and pumpkins. “You’re putting thousands if not millions of dollars into the earth and hoping nothing catastrophic happens, but it’s so much more of a gamble now. You have all of these consequences that farmers weren’t expecting.“From Apples to Popcorn, Climate Change Is Altering the Foods America Grows”

10 everyday foods in trouble:

  1. Tart cherries (Michigan) – under attack from spotted wing Drosophila, an invasive fruit fly
  2. Organic raspberries (New York) – spotted wing Drosophila
  3. Watermelons (Florida) – restrictive immigration policies could mean not enough workers from Mexico to work the fields
  4. Chickpeas (Montana) – tariffs
  5. Wild Blueberries (Maine) – erratic frosts and drought
  6. Organic Heirloom Popcorn (Iowa) – flooding
  7. Peaches (Georgia and South Carolina) – warm winters causing decreased crop
  8. Organic Apples (Washington) – fire blight, sunburn
  9. Golden Kiwi Fruit (Texas) – erratic freezes
  10. Artichokes (California) – warmer weather, improved conditions for pests like the artichoke plume moth

Judith Hope and David Posnett

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