Times are changing.
The forks (and spoons) are getting nervous.
With inflation, food shortages, droughts, and floods, our culinary future is endangered – like tigers and polar bears. According to Hoffmann, Koplinka-Loehr, and Eiseman in their new book, Our Changing Menu, climate change is messing with our menu. Big time.
Imagine life without a gooey hot fudge sundae.
Face the day without a tangy Starbuck’s latte.
Eat barbecue without flame broiled burgers, ketchup, and salty fries.
Let’s look at facts. After the recent wildfires, droughts, floods, and catastrophic storms around the world, some people still argue that climate change is a hoax. They call it risk denial rather than climate denial. Either way, it’s not going away.
With all of the hoopla around saving the planet, fossil fuel emissions have actually increased. The goal to hold the global temperature increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) is like taking a shower in hot fudge. It’s not happening. If our species continues the way we’re going, temperatures will rise catastrophically. In other words, everything will get much much worse.
A National Assessment concluded that climate change threatens our health by extreme weather, new diseases, more pests and insects, and damage to food and water supplies.
This is what drought looks like. How do you grow food in that?
The National Academy of Science estimates that for every degree global temperature rises, crop production decreases by at least fifteen percent.
That means less food, less culinary diversity, and the end to hot fudge sundaes, Starbuck lattes, and (sigh) flame broiled burgers and fries.
While our forks are getting shaky, The American Petroleum Institute (API), the premier lobby group of the oil and gas industry, funds people, politicians, organizations, and legislation that deny or ignore climate change.
What can you do to save your menu?
Fight climate change – support groups who work to reduce the enemies of our forks – climate change and fossil fuel emissions, and craft ideas for a sustainable future. You don’t have to stop eating meat and dairy – just limit it. Every time you dine on a plant-based food think of the ice cream, lattes, and burgers that can remain on the menu.
Consider this – according to GreenBiz “the food system generates about thirty-five percent of total global man-made greenhouse gas emissions.” That includes meat, poultry, dairy products, crops to feed livestock, pastures for grazing . . . it’s a long list. And that’s before huge swaths of land are razed for crops and pastures, cutting down trees for profit.
You know, the trees that help us by sucking out carbon from the air.
Sharon Palmer, nutritionist and sustainability expert notes, “research consistently shows that drastically reducing animal food intake and mostly eating plant-based foods is one of the most powerful things you can do to reduce your impact on the planet.”
Yet it’s estimated that by midcentury the global demand for beef and animal products will increase by ninety percent.
The cows and climate change deniers are laughing at us.
If you don’t change – even a little bite – your fork is in big trouble.
It’s in your hands.