Global Warming and Food

The way Stephen Colbert feels about bears, I feel about bees. HATE them! Nice way to ruin a picnic or a lovely time at an outdoor cafe. I’ve never been stung, but freak at the thought.

However, unlike bears, bees provide something very tangible and valuable to my life. I like honey very much.

Is the
die-off
of honey bees reported today linked to global warming? There have been lots of studies on the impact of warmer temperatures and rising ocean levels on agriculture, but not on specific foods. At least I can’t find any such studies. Anyone?

Local wine makers are thinking of replacing the Pinot Noir grapes with something else, given the warming and drying trend. God, I hope it’s not Chardonnay. Oregon has some of the best Pinot Noir in the world, but in the future? Depressing.

We should just do a survey of our farmers, and I mean, local, organic small production farmers who haven’t been tinkering with nature’s formula like agri-business likes to do, and ask them what they are seeing. I bet we’d get some interesting observations.

Last week I had dinner at Navarre and spoke with the owner, who mentioned the effect the warmer weather is having on vegetables. He produced a plate of a braised green vegetable that I thought was a new one for me. Nay, it was just a local broccoli that had “freaked out” and shot out florets bigger and faster than usual. It was super sweet and reminded me of a Chinese green.

If this is one example, there must be others. And we should be able to paint a picture of what we’ll be eating and drinking in the next generation…and what we won’t.

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About kmazz

I spend as much time as possible pursuing my interests in global culture, arts and politics.
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3 Responses to Global Warming and Food

  1. Ted says:

    This post contains a fantastic idea — gather evidence of warming’s impact from local farmers. In England people all over the country are natural history buffs, and they record things like bird migrations, insect arrivals, the first honeybees (!) with affection and precision. These observations are being gathered and studied by a national organization to paint a picture of global warming impacts. We could do it here with farmers — AND get a good picture of what will be in the markets. Somebody needs to take up this idea!

  2. KM says:

    How can we make this happen?

  3. Ted says:

    I would take the idea to the Ecotrust Food and Farms Program (Deborah Kane) and see whether they like the idea. They have the networks to local farmers and fishermen . . .

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