Imminent Foodie-Tree Hugger Alliance!

We often speak of mitigating climate change in light of how much can we afford to reduce consumption, thus leading some foodies to reject environmental values.  A classic in this genre occurs right here in Los Angeles, where Heal the Bay’s executive director, Mark Gold, spends his time trying to save sea creatures, and his brother Jonathan, the nonpareil food critic of the LA Weekly, spends his time trying to eat them.

But the Times of India reports that the equation is reversing:

An experiment by Indian agriculture scientists points to the enormous effect global warming could have on the fragrant basmati rice. Basmati, Sanskrit for the fragrant one, may lose not just its aroma, the famous long grains may get shorter, say scientists.
The hotter climate not only stunts the growth of basmati rice, the scientists found, but also robs the plant of fatty acids that give it its unique fragrance.
Obviously this is about more than gourmet food.  If climate change is stunting the growth of food crops, then it will also impact food supplies, which could decimate the world’s poorest communities.  Some forecasters estimate that India’s GDP could drop by 5% if climate impacts are as severe as predicted, and the most destitute will feel the brunt of that decline. 
So when someone tells you that we can’t afford to address climate, answer them that we can’t afford not to — whether we eat in gourmet restaurants or not.

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About Jonathan

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic – Land Use, the Environment and Loc…

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