Increasing acidic conditions interfere with the shell formation of young oysters in hatcheries and elsewhere. This finding has clear implications for the oyster farming industry, which is worth $273 million along the West Coast alone. Hatcheries have ameliorated the problem by manipulating water chemistry and continue to supply West Coast farms, but many see the threat as another canary in the coal mine for marine life. In addition, Dermo disease, a plague for oyster populations, has spread northward along the North American east coast, thanks to climate change.
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.