Basil is a culinary herb and is used as fresh leaves or dried. It does best in hot and dry conditions and its many varieties are grown worldwide, sometimes under glass. Scientists have found some varieties more tolerant to water stress than others. Water stress decreases basil’s essential oil content and reduces the weight of dry herbs produced.  Under stress, basil plants produce more antioxidants and flavonoids, but less total sugar. 
 Iakovos Kalamartzis et al., “Effect of Water Stress on the Physiological Characteristics of Five Basil (Ocimum Basilicum L.) Cultivars,” Agronomy-Basel 10, no. 7 (July 2020): 1029, https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10071029.
 Al-Huqail et al., “Effects of Climate Temperature and Water Stress on Plant Growth and Accumulation of Antioxidant Compounds in Sweet Basil (Ocimum Basilicum L.) Leafy Vegetable,” Scientifica 2020 (February 27, 2020): 3808909, https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/3808909.
Yields of major staple crops like wheat and rice are being hurt by increasing temperatures. Wine grape production is moving to cooler climes causing changes in the character of some of our favorites. The flavors and health benefits of teas, the size of potatoes, the sting of a hot pepper, where fish call home in the oceans, and a future decline in protein in vegetables—it’s all changing.
Our food database shows the ingredients affected by a changing climate.
To learn what farmers, scientists, and many others are doing to keep the menu stocked, see Stewardship of the Land and Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need. You have a role, too!
If the webpage is having display problems, try emptying your browser's cache.
This food ingredient database is in its early phase and we will strive to expand it on an ongoing basis so that everyone is aware of how climate change is affecting the foods we love and need.