Heat stress is the main concern for laying hens and egg quality. Researchers have found that when hens were housed under very warm conditions egg weight, density, and shell thickness were all negatively affected. In 2012, a heat wave killed an estimated 500,000 laying hens housed in uncooled sheds in Brazil, and such events are expected to increase in coming years. In the US and other developed countries, heat stress on poultry facilities can be minimized with various cooling systems. Some producers might even move north to cooler climes.
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!
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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.