CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS THE FOOD WE EAT

On several occasions we have addressed the issue of climate change and how it affects the planet and the species that inhabit it. Unfortunately, this concerns us very much, since due to high temperatures, extreme weather, droughts, high levels of carbon dioxide, and the increase of the sea, among other factors, would directly affect the food we eat daily, endangering its nutritional quality.

According to data released by the Earth Institute, studies have shown that if greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory, vegetable and legume production will be severely affected by 2100, falling by 35 percent due to water shortages and increased salinity and ozone.

HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT THE FOOD WE EAT EVERY DAY?
Well, a clear case is AGRICULTURE, one of the most affected and therefore also the food security of people. It happens that due to extreme temperature changes and anomalies in the climate during the seasons, a field can be subjected in a short time to a drought and a flood, when what agriculture really needs is a stable or at least predictable climate, without sudden changes, to produce adequately.

But just as agriculture is affected, it is also damaged, mainly by the production and release of greenhouse gases and by the alteration of the planet’s surface. Many of the most important ecological problems are directly associated with current agricultural production practices (in addition to livestock and fisheries) such as the reduction in genetic diversity, soil erosion, soil salinization from irrigation, desertification, excessive use of fertilizers or deforestation and loss of habitats. And then, when we ask ourselves how we participate in this chain, it is simple: the food we eat arrives at our table after being produced, stored, processed, packaged, transported, prepared and served, seven phases that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Explained in this way, OUR ROLE is not at all genuine, and therefore making a CONSENSIVE CONSUMPTION of EVERYTHING, be it food, clothing or electronics, is the best way to contribute to diminish the effect of climate change.

But farming will not be the only thing that will be severely affected by climate change: fishing, meat production and other methods of supplying our food will also be affected.

According to a report by the Earth Institute, since 1955, the oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. As a result, the ocean is warmer today, and as the ocean warms, fish and shellfish migrate northward in search of colder waters. And as they migrate to areas where they do not belong, these species can compete with other species for food, which can affect their survival rates.

But in addition, high water temperatures can alter the timing of migration and reproduction of fish, and may accelerate their metabolism, causing their bodies to consume more mercury. And that delicious dish that we enjoy as a family… happens to become a contaminating food, because the ingestion of fish with high mercury content can be toxic in the long term in the human body.

Inevitably the outcome of climate change is not the most optimistic, because if major changes do not begin to take place many will be affected and it will be drastic, since not only will food production and consumers be harmed but also as optimal growing conditions change with the climate, communities that depend on fishing or agriculture will suffer the terrible consequences, bringing them to the whole community.