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Myth: Climate change is years from affecting our food supply

TRUTH:  Unfortunately, this myth can be busted in a single sentence: food prices may rise 3-4% this year due to the drought.  Here are the facts:

  • 2012 is a record year for heat in the entire Northern Hemisphere.
  • This drought is the worst in 50 years and is affecting more than 50% of the country.
  • The most affected areas are primarily located in the Midwest; of the 1369 counties considered disaster areas, over 90% are due to drought.

You won’t see the outcome of this drought right away.  You’re probably wondering why not, right?!  Well, farmers are currently in the growing season, but the majority of crops grown aren’t for humans.  An example: more than half of the corn grown in the U.S. is used as animal feed.

Before we feel the effect on our wallet, the farmers suffer the consequences.  The cost of feed corn this season has already risen 50% since mid-June.  In turn, it’ll cost more to raise cows (or pigs, chickens, etc) and the we’ll incur the added expense.

However – life could be worse: economists project that we’ll see the increased price of corn affect poultry and eggs first.  As many of you know, the natural diet of chickens is not corn – so the worst offenders of animal cruelty may have the most to lose!  I feel as though this must be Mother Nature refusing to go down without a fight.

BOTTOM LINE:  Basically, the projected increase in food prices is a disaster in progress; we can see it coming but there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  The drought is the first of many consequences of climate change, which will cost us both financially and ecologically.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  1. NOAA: State of the Climate Overview, June 2012
  2. Washington Post: Drought may cause food prices to go up 3 to 4 percent next year

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