In the Bering Sea, one of the most productive fishing regions in the world, warming conditions are causing the sea ice to retreat. Over 40% of the US annual fish catch is from the Bering Sea—mainly pollock used in fish products from fish sticks to imitation crab. Retreating Arctic Sea ice threatens the food supply of young pollock, which feed on the algae that grows under the ice. As the sea ice retreats young pollock have less algae to feed on, their cold habitat is smaller, and they are preyed upon more by older, cannibalistic pollock. These factors threaten the overall stock of pollock, which is worth over $1 billion annually.
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.