Does your daughter love chocolates? Does your son demand a banana for breakfast every day? Unfortunately, some of the foods your children love might soon be on their way to extinction.
By Ashwin Dewan
Rapid decline in forest cover across the world, floods and droughts are leading to a massive climate change. This is taking a toll on food production. Per The Sun, global warming, deadly fungi and pests are other factors responsible for slowly pushing many foods that children love into gradual extinction.
Let us look at some of the foods that are in danger of becoming extinct:
Which child does not love chocolates? It’s distressing news for chocolate lovers, however, to know that chocolate production is declining at an alarming rate. According to an article published in a leading website, this much-loved delicacy might go extinct in the next 40 years. The main reason being cacao plants, which are the natural source of chocolate might go extinct as they are increasingly subject to fungal disease and chocolate change.
1) Soaring demand has led to a steep rise in price of chocolate.
2) Per Telegraph, a disease called Frosty Pod Rot has ruined a third of the world’s cocoa crop.
3) Cocoa trees thrive in hot and humid environments. The rainforest regions near the equator provide the ideal conditions for these trees. However, a decrease in rainfall has led to a decrease in cacao trees.
4) The rising popularity of dark chocolate, which requires a large amount of cocoa has put a strain on cocoa demand, according to spoonuniversity.
Substitute for chocolate: Fruit
Peanut butter sandwiches are a favourite with children. But a few years down the line, children might have to settle for boring jam on their bread instead. Do you know why? Because peanut butter might become extinct due to global warming.
According to the a leading news website, peanuts require very specific and stable growing conditions that are increasingly difficult to maintain due to climate changes. Too little rain will prevent seeds from germinating. Too much heat will destroy the shoots. Too much rain can cause the peanuts to grow mould, rendering the crop inedible.
Substitute for peanut butter: Sunflower seed butter
The versatile potato can be cooked in many ways, all of which are a huge hit with children. But the supply of this vegetable is reducing. Climate change is forcing potato farmers to cultivate the crop at higher altitudes.
Substitute that can be used for potato chips: Baked banana chips
Maple syrup, loved by children the world over, might soon go extinct too. It is another product to fall victim to global warming.
Wetter winters and dry summers are putting extreme pressure on sugar maples – the trees whose sap is needed to produce maple syrup. In winter, the trees require freezing temperatures to fuel the expansion and contraction process which they use to produce the necessary sap. Rising temperatures are causing the sap to flow earlier and every year, the syrup season is getting shorter.
Substitute for maple syrup: Honey
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” goes the old saying. But, there might be a day when there are no apples to munch on. Temperate fruit and nut trees such as the apple require adequate winter conditions to be able to produce economically viable yields. Global warming and rising temperatures pose a threat to the production of apples.
Substitute for apple: Guava
Does your son need his daily dose of coffee to kick-start his day? Does your daughter demand a cup for studying up late to study? Coffee plantations across the world are battling fungi and invasive species due to elevated temperatures brought about by climate change.
In the article, 5 of your favourite foods predicted to go extinct, published in Food Ndtv, a research conducted by UK’s Royal Botanical Gardens found that the production of Arabica and Robusta, the main species of coffee, has suffered from the impact of climate change.
Substitute for coffee: Organic green tea, black tea
For years, the population of bees has been slowly decreasing. This is caused by parasites that attack the honey bee colonies, and the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals. Until a solution is quickly found, honey production might just stop altogether.
Substitute for honey: Coconut nectar
Learn to use the resources of the Earth in a manner that we minimize our consumption, so that we can share equitably with all today and leave behind enough for tomorrow’s inheritors.
- Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
At this juncture, it is very important for us to teach our children the importance of sustainable living. Here are some DIY eco-friendly activities for you to try with your child.
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