5 Of Your Favorite Foods Could Be Extinct In The Next Few Decades
Climate change affects us in more ways than we realize. Extreme weather can lead to wildfires, floods, heat waves and droughts, and it can have a lasting impact on different habitats that, among other things, are needed to produce the foods that we’ve come to rely on. Over the course of the next few decades, we could be forced to say goodbye to all sorts of delicious, everyday staples, changing life as we know it. Here are five of those foods that could become extinct.
1. Peanut Butter
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of peanut butter and jelly, you can admit how sad a world without the beloved sandwich would be. Peanuts require extremely specific and stable growing conditions that might not stand up to climate change. They can only be planted in soil that gets consistent warmth and rain, and they need to be harvested by a certain time. With this in mind, there’s a chance that peanut butter could be a thing of the past by 2030 and our days of peanut butter cups could be gone forever. Stock up while you can.
According to weather.com, by the year 2080, the climate necessary to grow Arabica coffee could be nonexistent. Since coffee varieties have adapted to certain climate zones, an average temperature rise of even a few degrees could make a significant difference. Extreme rainfall or unusual rainfall patterns can contribute to a decline in coffee production as well.
Global warming has also lead to an increase in a predator of coffee plants called the coffee berry borer. So get all of your lattes in while you can, people. The future is looking mighty scary.
You might love your guac, but avocados could be out of the picture in the future. According to Modern Farmer, it takes 74 gallons of water to produce a single pound of avocados. And since 95 percent of the avocados grown in the United States come from California, massive droughts have taken a huge toll on our avocado production. That’s why it’s so expensive to buy avocados at the store — demand keeps rising while the weather makes it difficult to keep up with supply. We could be heading towards a world where avocado toast costs as much as a steak.
When it comes to difficult crops, cacao is pretty particular with its necessary growing conditions. It’ll only grow 20 degrees north and 2o degrees south of the equator. Cacao needs an average of 84 inches of rainfall per year followed by three months of a dry season, but rising temperatures are preventing the crop from reaching its full potential.
Since warmer and drier climates are less suitable for growing cacao, chocolate could be extinct by 2050. If this happens, scientists will either figure out a way to engineer the confection elsewhere… or we might just have to live in a world without chocolate.
5. Maple Syrup
Sorry, pancakes. Maple syrup is another food staple that requires insanely particular weather conditions. Proper production requires freezing temperatures at night and warm temperatures during the day. As our winters get warmer and shorter, maple farmers are having more and more trouble with syrup production.
Higher temperatures lead to less sugar in the sap, so we need more trees to produce the same yield of syrup we currently enjoy. Sigh. Hoard that syrup while you can.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Say hello to the best part of your day.