Kelp is eaten extensively in Asia and elsewhere around the globe. It is also used commercially as a food additive. However, warming oceans and changes in nutrient levels are harming kelp forests. To make matters worse, with climate change, long-spine sea urchin have expanded into new areas and feed heavily on existing kelp forests. With this southward movement of long-spine urchin populations, 95% of kelp forests have died off in the oceans of Eastern Tasmania. Kelp forests in Northern California have taken similar blows. In addition, disease has killed sea stars, which would normally keep the urchins from overgrazing.
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.