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Delicious Foods That Could Go Extinct Due to Climate Change

Do you love avocado toast and freshly brewed coffee in the mornings? Then you might want to savor your breakfast while it lasts. Avocados, wheat, and coffee are some of the foods we stand to lose forever. Chocolate, too. 

The rise in atmospheric temperature, as well as rapid industrial growth, is causing the loss of many plants’ original habitats. Without the ideal conditions for their growth, many of our food and medication sources are in danger. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, both land and water resources are being cut short as climate changes increase. As a result, many of our favorite foods and drinks could be facing extinction. 

Coffee and wine are at the top of the list of both the most popular and most endangered drinks. Rising temperatures and unpredictable weather are a threat both to coffee crops and to bees, who play an integral role as pollinators. By 2050, almost 90% of Latin America’s soils suitable for coffee crops could be reduced. A similar case occurs with wine, as grapes also require very specific conditions for their production. Generally speaking, the hotter the climate, the less suitable the grapes become for complex wines. 

Honey and maple syrup are two of the most popular sweeteners, growing in popularity as a healthy alternative to sugar. However, as mentioned before, bees are one of the most endangered species in the world, so honey might be seeing its final days. The sugar maple tree is also on the verge of demise, as it requires a drastic shift in temperature—from above freezing during the day to below freezing at night—a condition very hard to predict in our current weather conditions.  

A similar case occurs with chocolate, as cacao beans only grow in specific humidity and soil conditions, without them, they wither and die. Many of the cacao plantations are located in tropical areas, and it is these areas that are becoming more and more volatile, a drastic decrease in cocoa is expected in less than a decade.  

Grains and beans such as wheat, soy, rice, and chickpeas, staple foods in most countries, are also out of luck. These vital crops are not proving to be very resilient to extremely high temperatures, or unstable weather conditions. Without these, people around the world are not only in danger of losing a cheap and vital source of calories but also biofuels, which are expected to be a staple source of energy in the future.    

Last but not least, fruits. Strawberries, avocados, bananas, peaches, plums, the list goes on. These fruits are very susceptible to unpredictable weather, the decrease in pollinator communities, and the abrupt change in the mineral condition of the soils.

These are only some of the foods and beverages that we could be losing forever. However, it is not all bad news. A lot is being done to improve soil, water, and air conditions worldwide. Scientific and environmental agencies are working non-stop so that none of these predictions will come true. It is important that we remain vigilant and aware of our consumer and waste habits so that we can enjoy our favorite meals for a long time.


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