TWIST: the climate is what you eat


Welcome to the very first post on “This Week in Sustainable Transitions” or TWIST a new weekly post which covers one topic in the news involving sustainable transitions and climate change.

A lot of news this week focused on how what we eat can mitigate climate change. In particular, we saw the argument that we should eliminate or greatly reduce dairy or meat products. In the news, China’s increasing consumption of milk could greatly increase our global livestock emissions. We also saw the argument that “natural” ranching practices are also just a bad.  However, not all agreed and one commenter on twitter had a particular argument:

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This week we also got a lot of bad news about how climate change will alter our food supply. So, it’s best to enjoy your veggies while you can because a new study suggests that vegetables will become scarcer due to climate change. So maybe have an extra helping of salad for lunch. We won’t be able to turn to rice to make up any vitamin decencies however as it will become less nutritious with climate change. This is particularly bad news not only for those of us who eat rice regularly, but especially for the 2 billion people who rely on rice as a food source. Most troubling for me personally, chocolate might disappear over the next 40 years if nothing is done to tackle climate change.

Further research has suggested climate change will bring more shocks to the global food supply system, leaving us vulnerable to sudden price increases . Again, of course, impacting the poorest and most vulnerable individuals. On top of this, there is a new study suggesting that the shifting of fish populations due to climate change will likely lead to conflict. National Geographic and HUFFPOST were particularly dramatic, calling it the "Fish Wars".

However, on the bright side, a new study on farming in Michigan there might be increased crop yields as a result of climate change. Scandinavia is also expected to have a longer growing season which presumably will lead to more agricultural produce. So there is that at least...