Climate Change Bacon, Coffee, Pasta, & Other Endangered Foods (PHOTOS)
The U.K.’s National Pig Association this week predicted a world shortage of pork in the coming year. Thanks to climate change, we eventually may have to say goodbye to beloved food staples like bacon, chocolate, coffee, and peanuts that are at risk of disappearing.
AP Photo (3); Getty Images (Peanut Butter)
A world without
chocolate? Or bacon? Say it isn’t so! This week, the U.K.’s National Pig Association revealed that a world shortage of pork is upon us in the coming year. The announcement sparked panic across the web, as media sites brainstormed bacon replacements , posted pictures of cute pigs whose lives would be spared, and criticized the overreactions. While bacon might stick around for a few years, here’s a look at the foods experts warn might be disappearing from our supermarket shelves in the coming years. As the world’s food prices soar, climates change and crops fall to drought, global warming is ushering in a much less delicious era. Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo Maple Syrup
Pancakes and butter just doesn’t have the same appeal without this sweet, sticky syrup. But acid rain, unpredictable weather and insect infestations are
threatening the delicate production of maple syrup.
Forget that complex coffee order you’ve been perfecting: in the coming decades, the coffee industry might be going out of business. Starbucks sustainability director Jim Hanna worries about the repercussions of varying rainy seasons, hurricanes, and crop depletion for the drink many people can’t live without. “What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road—if conditions continue as they are—is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean,” he
told . Hanna is part of a business coalition pushing for reforms to halt climate change, and hopefully, they’ll be heard. A coffee-less world would mean a lot more grumpy people. The Guardian
Now, this could be a disaster. Most of the chocolate we treat ourselves to comes from countries facing rising temperatures and different rainfall patterns that threaten cocoa crops in places like Ghana and the Ivory Coast, which produce half of the world’s chocolate. Researchers are
predicting a spike in prices and a need for crops that can endure these weather changes. We can only pray their advice is taken.
Wine and Beer
Water shortages might be the end of two of the world’s most beloved alcoholic beverages. Germany’s premier beer-making region is having a hard time growing hops and barley without some aquatic help. The European Union, probably fearing a German revolt, threw $9 million into an
irrigation system for hops farmers in 2009. In France, a perfect grape-growing climate is soon to be lost, when weather too warm or cold impacts the grape’s taste.
Mamma mia! Italians might be stuck with pizza in the coming years, as wheat yields decrease with the advent of hotter temperatures and less rain in the country. Scientists at the British Meteorological Office say wheat might be gone from Italy by the latter part of this century.
Trout and Salmon
Warm water may be good for beachgoers, but not for cold-water fish like trout and salmon. Rising temperatures will affect the
life cycle of these river-living fish, along with the egg-laying schedule and more competition from other adaptable fish. A 2002 study predicted the “disappearance of trout and salmon from as much as 18 to 38 percent of their current habitat by the year 2090.”
Sergey Ponomarev / AP Photo Strawberries
Could this century see the end of chocolate-covered strawberries? British researcher Dr. David Simpson
noted that cool northern areas well-suited for growing the delicious fruit are forecasting rising temperatures that threaten strawberry harvests. All is not lost—he also said the U.K. is doing all it can to breed a more weather-resistant berry.
Craig Veltri / Getty Images Peanut Butter
Moms will have to think up another perfect lunch sandwich rather than PBJs when peanut butter is no longer available. In 2011, sizzling summer temperatures contributed to
the biggest peanut crop failure in 30 years that forced prices of the beloved nut to jump from $450 to $1,150 per ton in just one year.