A winter or summer that’s not typical of the region we live in may not leave us thinking deeply, nor may we be aware that snow leopards, polar bears and penguins may disappear from the face of the earth. ‘Climate Change’ is an abstract notion for most of us — but the World Health Organization thinks the prospect of the disappearance of these favourite foods may change your stance to a more proactive one!
1. Peanuts. Be prepared to live without that essential winter treat — roasted ‘moong phali’ and the year-round delight of peanut butter sandwiches. Packed with protein and delicious to boot, this staple may not be around by the year 2030. Peanut plants are temperamental, requiring a precise combination of sun and rain. Some regions growing peanuts have faced severe droughts and there’s a drastic reduction in yield. Drought-resistant varieties are being researched but the main cause, climate change, looms over the crop like a spectre.
2. Chocolate. A world without chocolate? Unimaginable! Apparently not; 70% of the world’s chocolate comes from West African countries like Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture says this region will experience a 2-degree Celsius temperature change by 2050, meaning more water will evaporate from the air and plant leaves, rendering this region inadequate for cocoa production as early as 2030, leaving us deprived of Nutella and Toblerone.
3. No more Nescafe. The disappearance of coffee will definitely leave a yawning gap in our lives, be it Nescafe or Maxwell House. Different varieties of coffee are closely dependent on specific regional and climatic conditions. Warmer temperatures mean better breeding grounds for bugs and fungi, and devastation for the coffee crop. India, Costa Rica and Ethiopia, top coffee-growing countries, have reported a sharp decline in production. So beware, Gloria Jeans may become an endangered species.