Cornell University recently launched a new website, Our Changing Menu, that illustrates the impacts of the climate crisis on food.
The website details how climate change is altering the growing cycles, production, and availability of popular foods, with the aim of motivating people to take action against the issue. Dr. Mike Hoffmann, Carrie Koplinka-Loehr, and Dr. Danielle L. Eiseman, created this resource to expand on their new book called Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need to keep it current with rapidly developing climate science.
Using a hypothetical menu that reflects the components of a typical meal eaten in the U.S., the website shows that as the climate changes so will the foods we eat and are available; as well as how plant-based products that include perfumes, cleaning products and textiles will be affected. Our Changing Menu also demonstrates that climate change is more than just warming temperatures; it also affects the key components of food production, including soil health, surface and sea water, and air composition. Hoffmann explains that warmer temperatures mean that pests will live longer and do more damage. Transport logistics will be complicated by barges stranded due to low water levels on shipping lanes. Weeds will become hardier as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels rise.
The authors also describe how farmers, businesses, and scientists are adapting to climate change. Developing more heat-tolerant and drought-resistant crops, using less water to reduce methane in rice cultivation, and transforming livestock waste into heat and electricity. Our Changing Menu also suggests those steps that all of us must take to reverse the impacts of Climate Change. Check it out.