Monday, March 23, 2015

Climate change will make food less tasty

A report prepared by climate scientists at the University of Melbourne reveals the impact that shifting rainfall patterns, extreme weather, warming oceans, and climate-related diseases will have on the production, quality and cost of Australia's food in the future.

Tasteless carrots, bad pizza dough and poor quality steak are some of the impacts we can expect from Australia's changing climate, according to the new scientific report released last week.

From wheat, seafood and dairy products to poultry, meat, grains, and fruit and vegetables, the effects of global warming on a list of fifty-five household food items has been compiled for the very first time.

"It's definitely a wake up call when you hear that the toast and raspberry jam you have for breakfast, for example, might not be as readily available in 50 years time," said Associate Professor Richard Eckard from the University of Melbourne.

"Or that there may be changes to the cost and taste of food items we love and take for granted like avocado and vegemite, spaghetti bolognaise and even beer, wine and chocolate.

"It makes you appreciate that global warming is not a distant phenomenon but a very real occurrence that is already affecting the things we enjoy in our everyday lives, including the most common of foods we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, " he said.

Professor David Karoly, co-author of the report, said that out of all the impacts global warming is having on Australian farms, increases in heat-waves and bushfires pose the biggest threat to Australia's agricultural regions.

"Global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves and bushfires affecting farms across southern and eastern Australia, and this will get much worse in the future if we don't act.

"It's a daunting thought when you consider that Australian farms produce 93 percent of the food we eat," he said.

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