No matter how you slice it, climate change will change the way we eat in the future. Today, just 13 crops provide 80% of the world’s energy intake, and about half of our calories come from wheat, corn and rice. However, some of these crops may not grow well during high temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and extreme weather events caused by climate change.Droughts, heat waves and flash floods have destroy crops all around the world.
“We have to diversify our food basket,” Festo Massawe said. He is the Executive Director of Future Food Beacon Malaysia at the University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Semenyih campus, which researches the impact of climate change on food security.
It goes beyond what we eat, but also how we grow it. The trick is to invest in all possible solutions: cultivating crops to make them more climate resilient, genetically engineering food in the lab, and studying how little we know about crops, says Samuel Samuel, an ecologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Samuel Pironon said in London. To feed a growing population in a rapidly changing world, food scientists are exploring many possible avenues while considering how to be environmentally friendly.
Consumer preferences are also part of the equation. “It has to be the right combination: It looks good, tastes good, and is priced right,” said Halley Froehlich, an aquaculture and fisheries scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Here are six foods to check out all those boxes and be more prominent on menus and grocery store shelves in the future.
source: Carbohydrates, Protein, Minerals (Potassium, Phosphorus and Magnesium)
use: Whole grains; gluten-free flour, pasta, chips, beer
The United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of Millet (a few varieties exist). Quinoa received the same honor in 2013, with sales soaring. First cultivated in Asia about 10,000 years ago, millet is a staple food in parts of Asia and Africa.Compared to wheat, corn and rice, millet has more more climate resilient; This crop requires very little water and thrives in warm, dry conditions. More good news: Millet is one of many ancient grains — including teff, amaranth, and sorghum — that are just as sustainable and resilient (not to mention capable of being turned into beer).
2. Bambara Peanuts
source: Protein, Fiber, Minerals (Potassium, Magnesium and Iron)
use: Baked or boiled; gluten-free flour; dairy-free milk
You’ve heard of almond milk and soy milk. Your next coffee shop replacement might be made with Bambara peanuts, a drought-tolerant bean native to sub-Saharan Africa. Like other legumes, Bambara peanuts are high in protein. Bacteria on plants convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, so peanuts grow well in nutrient-poor soil without chemical fertilizers.A sort of better understand plantssaid Festo Massawe of Future Food Beacon Malaysia, could pave the way for breeding programs to help Bambara peanuts become as popular as soybeans, a high-yielding but less drought-tolerant bean.
source: Protein, omega-3, vitamin B12, minerals (iron, manganese and zinc)
use: steamed; added to pasta, stews, soups
One day, delicious mussel linguine may become a weeknight regular on family menus.Mussels and other bivalves, including oysters, clams, and scallops, can make up about 40% seafood by 2050according to the 2020 report nature. Since no watering or fertilizing is required, bivalve farms are a prime location for scaling up, which will lower prices for consumers. All bivalves have merit, but Halley Froehlich of the University of California, Santa Barbara argues that mussels are “super hardy,” “super nutritious,” and underrated. One downside: As carbon levels rise, ocean acidification increases, threatening shell-forming organisms. Kelp might be able to help.
source: Vitamins, minerals (iodine, calcium and iron), antioxidants
use: Salads, smoothies, salsa, pickles, noodles, and chips; also found in toothpaste, shampoos, and biofuels
Kelp has some cool climate-friendly tricks.On the one hand, by absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, it can reduce acidity its watery environment. Farmers in Maine and Alaska work together to grow kelp and bivalves so the shelled creatures can benefit from less acidic water. Kelp can also sequester carbon, much like underwater trees. This means that growing and eating more kelp may be good for the environment. Although kelp and other seaweeds have been widely eaten in Asia for thousands of years, they are still an acquired taste in many Western countries.
source: Carbohydrates, Calcium, Potassium and Zinc
use: Porridge or bread; also used to make rope, boards, and building materials
This drought-tolerant banana grown in Ethiopia is called a “fake banana” because the plant resembles a banana tree, but its fruit is inedible. It’s also known as the “starvation-resistant tree” because its starchy stems can be harvested at any time of the year, making it a reliable buffer food crop during times of drought. 2021 report Environmental Research Letters Indicates that the range of the enset can be extended to Rest of Africa, and may exceed . Study author James Borrell of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said the processing required to make an enset edible is complex. Therefore, any expansion must be led by communities with indigenous knowledge.
source: Carbohydrates, Potassium, Vitamin C
use: whole cooked root; gluten-free flour; tapioca pearls in bubble tea
Cassava, a starchy root vegetable from South America, examined climate resilience, sustainability and nutritional status. Cassava is now grown in more than 100 countries, can withstand temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius, and is salt and drought tolerant.Bonus: Higher atmospheric carbon dioxide2 level increases plant tolerance to stress and Can lead to higher yields. Raw cassava can contain toxic levels of cyanide, but the chemical can be removed by peeling, soaking, and cooking the roots.