Global Climate Change's effect on Agriculture; Taste for Sugar - Food Matters October 2015
Global climate change, population, food supply, and agriculture:
Whether or not global climate change is real, critical, or repaired only through draconian measures is not the topic of this month's "Food Matters". That debate is for a different forum. But if there is climate change, no matter the cause, its impact on agriculture creates both positive and negative effects. Water, through droughts, devastating storms and increased rainfall has the largest effect. Next, increased temperatures also can both negatively impact yield in currently hot areas and help in less warm climes. It is unrestrained population growth that is the root cause uf climate change and necessitates increased food supply. More wild places, including rainforests, are displaced as land is moved into agricultural production. And yet for the first time in recorded history, global land used for agricuture declined from 1998 to 2011. Increased food demand from population expansion and decreases in its supply from climate change are now offset by increased yields per acre and 4.4% more global calorie production per capita. We include below the national climate assesment for agricuture which is produced, by law, every 4 years by NOAA and overseen by a Federal Advisroy Committee. We found the raw data very interesting.
Articles: National Climate Assesment, NOAA & NCADAC, May 6, 2014 ; Global Agriculture Trends: Are We Actually Using Less Land? Cool Green Science Jon Fisher, June 18, 2014 ; Climate Change Could Cause 18 Percent Drop in Food Production by 2050, Study Says Huffington Post Chris Arsenault, Decemebr 18 2014 ; and Food Industry Executives Call on Congress for Climate Change Action The Guardian Marc Gunther, October 1, 2015
Despite sensational marketing, sugary tastes are changing
Less than 5 % of agricultural land is dedicated to growing fruits and vegetables while over 50% is used to grow corn and soybeans for feeding animals and manufacturing sugar, Marketing has lead to ignoring true flavor (which, detected by the human body through means of retronasal olfaction, is distinctly differrent than taste). Despite the marketing efforts of "big soda" and high sugar food producers, 79 calories of the 130 daily calorie decrease in the American diet comes from reduced soda consumption. Meantime, discerning palates have begun to return to tarter foods as was the norm prior to the 20th century.
Articles: Power of Sour: How Tart is Reclaiming Turf From Sweet the salt Jill Neimark September 28 2015 ; The Decline of "Big Soda" The New York Times Margot Sanger-Katz, October 2 2015; and The Money Spent Selling Sugar to Americans is Stagering The Atlantic James Hamblin, September 27 2015