Thursday November 21, 2019

Climate Change Changes The Cost Of Eating Veggies

Food production itself is a major contributor to climate change.

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People shop at a vegetable and fruit market in Amman, Jordan, June 6, 2018. Climate change could drive up the prices of vegetables, according to a new study.
People shop at a vegetable and fruit market in Amman, Jordan, June 6, 2018. Climate change could drive up the prices of vegetables, according to a new study. VOA

Keeping healthy could become more costly as climate change and water scarcity cause a huge drop in the global production of vegetables and legumes, scientists said Monday.

The amount of vegetables produced could fall by more than a third, especially in hot regions like southern Europe and swaths of Africa and South Asia, said researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

By analyzing studies across 40 countries, with some dating as far back as 1975, they found that hikes in greenhouses gases, water scarcity and global temperatures lowered the amount of vegetables and legumes produced.

Such drastic changes could drive up the prices of vegetables, which would affect poorer communities the most, according to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“If we take a ‘business as usual’ approach, environmental changes will substantially reduce the global availability of these important foods,” said Alan Dangour, a co-author of the paper, in a statement.

Scientists have warned that world temperatures are likely to rise by 2 degrees to 4.9 degrees Celsius this century compared with pre-industrial times.

Climate change
Climate change, Pixabay

This could lead to dangerous weather patterns — including more frequent and powerful droughts, floods and storms — increasing the pressure on agriculture.

Food production itself is a major contributor to climate change.

Agriculture, forestry and changes in land use together produce nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, making them the second-largest emitter after the energy sector, said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

The volume of food transported around the world also is exacerbating global warming.

The global demand for food is expected to soar as the world’s population is projected to grow to 9.8 billion people by 2050, up from 7.6 billion today, according to the U.N.

Crops now take up 11 percent of the world’s land surface, and livestock grazing covers 26 percent of ice-free land, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Farming accounts for about 70 percent of all water used globally, said the OECD.

Water scarcity already affects more than 40 percent of the world’s population, according to the U.N.

Green vegetable
Green vegetable, Pixabay

That number is expected to rise due to global warming, with one in four people projected to face chronic or recurring shortages by 2050, the U.N. said.

Also read: Climate change driving dramatic rise in sea levels: NASA

“Urgent action needs to be taken, including working to support the agriculture sector to increase its resilience to environmental changes,” said Dangour. “And this must be a priority for governments across the world.” (VOA)

Next Story

Here’s Why Living in Greener Areas is Important!

The longitudinal study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, used data from over 6,000 adults, aged between 45-69 from the UK

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Greener Areas
Long-term exposure to Greener Areas could play an important role in preventing metabolic syndrome as a whole, as well as individual components such as large waist circumference, high levels of blood fats or hypertension. Pixabay

Middle-aged and older adults that live in Greener Areas were at a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those living in areas with less green spaces, a new study said.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together and include obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar levels and abnormal fat levels.

“The study found more health benefits in those areas with higher tree coverage, which provides a basis for investigating the types of vegetation that impact positively on our health,” said study author Payam Dadvand from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

In this study, the researchers examined the link with metabolic syndrome as a whole, providing an indicator of overall cardiometabolic health, and in the long-term.

The longitudinal study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, used data from over 6,000 adults, aged between 45-69 from the UK.

Participants underwent four examinations over 14 years (1997-2013), with a series of tests including blood analysis, blood pressure and waist circumference measurements.

Residential greenness was determined by satellite images.

Greener Areas
Middle-aged and older adults that live in Greener Areas were at a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those living in areas with less green spaces, a new study said. Wikimedia Commons

These findings suggest that long-term exposure to Greener Areas could play an important role in preventing metabolic syndrome as a whole, as well as individual components such as large waist circumference, high levels of blood fats or hypertension.

ALSO READ: Eat Your Breakfast To Score Good Marks

The association observed was higher for women than for men.

The study showed that people living in greener areas have slower cognitive decline. Less stress, greater longevity, or a better overall and mental health are other benefits proved by scientific studies. (IANS)