No matter how you cut it, climate change will change what we eat in the future. Today, only 13 crops provide 80 percent of the world’s energy intake, and about half of our calories come from wheat, corn and rice. However, some of these crops may not grow well at higher temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and extreme weather events caused by climate change. Drought, heat waves and flash floods are already damaging crops around the world.

“We need to diversify our food basket,” says Festo Massau. He is the CEO of Future Food Beacon Malaysia, a group on the campus of the University of Nottingham Malaysia in Semenik that studies the impact of climate change on food security.

This goes beyond what we eat to the way we grow it. The trick will be to invest in every possible solution: growing crops more resilient to the climate, genetic engineering of food in the laboratory and studying crops we simply don’t know enough about, says environmentalist Samuel Pironon of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew in London. To feed a growing population in a rapidly changing world, food scientists are exploring many possible paths while thinking about how to be environmentally friendly.

Consumer preferences are also part of the equation. “It has to be this right combination of: It looks good, tastes good and is the right price,” said Halley Frölich, an aquaculture and fisheries scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Here are six foods that could check all these boxes and be more prominent in future food menus and shelves.

1. Millet


Source of: Carbohydrates, proteins, minerals (potassium, phosphorus and magnesium)
Uses: Whole grains; gluten-free flour, pasta, chips, beer

The United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of Millet (there are several varieties). Quinoa won the same honor in 2013 and its sales jumped sharply. First cultivated in Asia about 10,000 years ago, millet is a major grain in parts of Asia and Africa. Compared to wheat, corn and rice, millet is plentiful more resilient to climate; the crop needs little water and grows in warmer and drier environments. Some more good news: Millet is one of many ancient grains – including teff, amaranth and sorghum – that are just as resilient and durable (not to mention they can be turned into beer).

2. Bamboo peanuts

Bambara peanuts

Source of: Proteins, fiber, minerals (potassium, magnesium and iron)
Uses: Roasted or cooked; gluten-free flour; milk without dairy products

You have heard of almond milk and soy milk. The next alternative in your cafe can be made from Bambara peanuts, drought-resistant legumes native to sub-Saharan Africa. Like other legumes, Bambara peanuts are full of protein. And the bacteria in the plant convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, so that peanuts grow well in nutrient-poor soil without chemical fertilizers. A better understanding of the plantsays Festo Masau of Future Food Beacon Malaysia, could pave the way for breeding programs to help Bambara peanuts become as popular as soybeans, a legume that yields high yields but is less drought resistant.

3. Mussels


Source of: Protein, omega-3, vitamin B12, minerals (iron, manganese and zinc)
Uses: Steamed; added to pasta dishes, stews, soups

A delicious mussel linguine can one day become a regular weekly evening on the family menu. Mussels and other bivalves, including oysters, mussels and mussels, could compensate 40 percent of seafood by 2050according to a report for 2020 nature. Without the need for watering or fertilizing, bivalve farms are essential for expansion, which would reduce prices for consumers. All bivalves have merit, but UC Santa Barbara’s Halley Fröhlich singles out mussels as “super durable”, “super nutritious” and underrated. One drawback: Shell-forming creatures are endangered as rising carbon levels increase the acidification of the ocean. Kelp may be able to help.

4. Kelp


Source of: Vitamins, minerals (iodine, calcium and iron), antioxidants
Uses: Salads, smoothies, salsa, pickles, noodles and chips; It is also found in toothpaste, shampoo and biofuels

Kelp has some great weather tricks. On the one hand, by absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, it can reduce acidity from its aquatic environment. Farmers in Maine and Alaska grow algae and bivalves together so that peeled animals can benefit from less acidic water. Kelp also captures carbon, similar to underwater trees. This means that growing and eating more algae can be good for the environment. While kelp and other seaweed have been widely consumed in Asia for thousands of years, they still acquire a flavor in many western countries.

5. Enset

Enset or

Source of: Carbohydrates, calcium, potassium and zinc
Uses: Porridge or bread; also used to make ropes, slabs and building materials

The Ethiopian drought-resistant enset is called a “fake banana” because the plant looks like a banana tree, although its fruit is unfit for consumption. It is also called the “anti-hunger tree” because its starchy stems can be harvested at any time of the year, making it a reliable food crop during dry periods. Report for 2021 Letters for environmental research suggests that the scope of the entset may be extended to other parts of Africa, and probably beyond. The treatment needed to make the eset edible is complex, says study author James Borel of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. So any extension will have to be guided by communities that have this local knowledge.

6. Cassava


Source of: Carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C.
Uses: Whole boiled root; gluten-free flour; tapioca pearls in bubble tea

Cassava, a starchy root from South America, marks the boxes for climate resilience, resilience and nutrition. Now grown in over 100 countries, cassava can withstand temperatures up to 40 ° C and is resistant to salt and drought. Additional plus: Higher atmospheric CO2 levels increase the plant’s tolerance to stress and can lead to higher yields. Raw cassava may contain toxic levels of cyanide, but the chemical can be removed by peeling, soaking and boiling the root.

These six foods may become more popular as the planet warms

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