Not this year, Billy Boy, Billy Boy.
Three-fourths of the nation’s tart cherries—the kind baked into pies and cooked into jam—come from Michigan, and the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that virtually all of Michigan’s crop will be lost to freakish weather events. If they’re lucky, cherry growers will eke out 5 million or so lbs., compared with a typical year’s production that hovers around 180 million lbs.
Yes, folks, global warming is here.
2010 was the world’s hottest year on record; that is, until 2011. Now we’re six months into 2012, and it’s clearly another one for the record books.
A bizarre mid-winter heatwave with two weeks of near-90° temperatures brought early buds to Michigan’s cherry trees. When temperatures dropped back into the seasonal range of frosts and freezes, the cherry blossoms dropped too.
Michigan’s disaster is a taste of things to come, a kind of cherry on top of the global warming sundae.
Barring a swift and sudden reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, here’s what else will happen to our food:
- Dairy cows will produce less milk and chickens will lay fewer eggs.
- Grapes will wither into raisins before they can be pressed for wine.
- We’ll drink summer ales year-round—the only palatable brew that can be made with the milder, low-acid, warm-weather hops.
- Fish will flee the southern hemisphere, vegetables will wither in the fields, and maple syrup will be just a memory.
Popsicles and iced drinks can only take you so far. What will you be eating as the planet heats up?