The continuous deterioration of the environment on account of climate change is beginning to have such a tangible impact on the food chain that we can even taste it.
Climate change is causing fluctuations in production levels and prices, is reducing the nutritional value of our food, and is altering the texture and flavors of the food we know.
Relevant studies over the years, and particularly in 2015, warned that heat and drought would likely to affect and reduce the quality of grains, grapes, fruits and vegetables and other crops.
As temperatures change and seasons are disrupted, the crop cycles are disrupted as well. Several crops have already declined in production due to the extreme weather conditions, the reduced flowering followed by increasing illnesses in crops.
In many areas this has significantly affected the production of lemons, beetroots, potatoes, lentils as well as chickpeas.
Experts warn that carrots are also losing their texture and taste, cabbage may become more bitter and while eggplants might get deformed. Meat and seafood are also affected due to the thermal stress, while this can be extremely dangerous for pork and poultry.
The overheating of the oceans threaten certain species with population decline, such as octopuses, while others may face extinction.
For the French cheesemakers the effects of climate change in their production is of serious concern as well. Cheese is amongst the most important culinary products of France and many of the cheese types are linked with their place of origin.
When the conditions for their production in their designated area of origin are lost, it threatens their production.
Producers of the famous cheese Picadon, that is mostly made from goat’s milk, mainly in the southeast of France, explained that the unique taste and intense aromas of the cheese comes from the grass and bushes of the area. However, they explained that this now is changing, and if goats are not fed with the same quality of grass as in the past then the taste of the cheese will be altered.
The French cheese is not the only product under threat. Apples do not have the same texture, according to a recent study by the National Food and Agriculture Research Organization in Japan. They have become less hard, more acidic, and have more watery cores.
Grapes are also facing changes on account of higher temperatures as they ripen earlier, resulting in higher alcohol content due to the increased sugar levels. And just as it happens with cheeses, wine and the designated areas of origin linked with specific grape varieties and flavors are put at risk as agricultural cycles and conditions shift.