Climate change is an existential issue we all face. While most of us acknowledge the benefits of things like reusable bags and recycled paper, not everyone realizes that the food they eat may also have a significant carbon footprint. Warming temperatures, rising seas, and damaged ecosystems impact our ability to raise enough crops to feed everyone, and the threat is only getting more dire. Shopping sustainable brands like Safe Catch, or fair trade coffee brands like Kicking Horse are a wonderful starting place, but there are more fundamental ways we must adapt our food consumption. Here are five ways climate change will affect your diet.
New Wine Varieties
Let’s begin with an innovation that has the potential to be fun and exciting. Food & Wine reports that as the threat from climate change increases, France is beginning to develop an agricultural strategy that will add more diversity to your wine list! Traditional Bordeaux wines are being substituted for new grape varieties that are able to thrive in more extreme conditions, like higher temperatures and less water. The new French red wine varieties include Arinarnoa, Castets, Marselan, and Touriga Nacional. The two new French white wines are Alvarinho and Liliorila. While it may be sad to reduce the amount of available favorites like Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, it is also a thrilling new tasting adventure. Cheers!
More Plant-Based Meals
Plant-based meat alternatives are one of the biggest food trends right now—and that’s a good thing! Carnivores may not be too happy about it, but animal-based foods such as beef, pork, and eggs come with a big carbon footprint attached, making them less viable options for the cuisine of the future. According to the New York Times, plant-based diets are more sustainable, the best option being the vegan diet. High protein vegan foods like nuts, and vegetarian cuisine featuring fruits like tomatoes, will take more of the spotlight going forward. (That’s fine—we love tomato sauce!)
More Soy Milk
One of the other advantages of a vegan diet is the lack of dairy products like milk, cheese and butter. Dairy is part of the animal-based food industry, so substitutes for these will become more popular. Sustainable brands like Koita will take center stage with soy milk and other milk alternatives, as sustainably farmed soy comes with a low carbon footprint.
More Beans & Legumes
Beans and legumes are both high protein vegan foods that provide a solid foundation for healthy meals. Lentils, especially, are one of the stars of vegetarian cuisine, and are also already quite prevalent in Italian and Middle Eastern food. Beans and legumes have some of the most minimal impacts on our environment.
Climate change affects all ecosystems, including oceans. Fortunately, some fish farmers are already starting to take sustainable seafood seriously. Paying strict attention to issues like population fluctuation resulting from overfishing and environmental changes, sustainable seafood brands are making an effort to restructure their industry. Diets will reflect this, featuring some of the more sustainable options like small fish (sardines, anchovies) and mollusks like clams and mussels. Start cooking some Linguine con Vongole or these sardine recipes!