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Foods that could become extinct

We’re not trying to scare you but ... coffee could eventually be a thing of the past. Cue: panic.
We’re not trying to scare you but ... coffee could eventually be a thing of the past. Cue: panic.

HERE'S food for thought ... how would you cope without your morning coffee?

Imagine having a broken heart without chocolate to mend it, or god forbid we see a day where there's no dessicated coconut on lamingtons.

Read on to find out which of our favourite foods are at risk of extinction.

 

VANILLA BEANS

Vanilla is one of the most labour-intensive foods in the world.
Vanilla is one of the most labour-intensive foods in the world.

THE demand for vanilla drastically outweighs the orchids that produce it.

The biggest reason for the global shortage is because vanilla, which is predominately grown in Madagascar, is one of the most labour-intensive foods on the market. Everything is done by hand and the process takes months.

Another factor is the spike in desire for all natural foods.

To keep up with the growing interest in natural ingredients, several huge companies including Nestle and Hershey's recently announced they were shifting to natural ingredients, meaning they now want to source vanilla from orchid seeds, not factories.

A bag of vanilla beans in Madagascar, which produces 80 per cent of the world's vanilla, now costs more than 10 times what it did five years ago, and experts predict that number will go up even more with supply getting lower and lower.

 

COFFEE

Coffee beans are becoming scarce due to the effects of climate change.
Coffee beans are becoming scarce due to the effects of climate change.

THE thought of life without coffee is hard to stomach. And it is a serious possibility with the climate change epidemic, declining crop yields and ever-evolving worldwide demand.

Half of the world's area that is suitable for growing coffee will be gone by 2050 with the way climate change is going, according to a 2016 report from The Climate Institute.

The coffee industry is massive, with estimations that people drink over two billion cups a day.

But the commonly grown type of coffee, Coffea Arabica, can only thrive in very specific conditions in tropical highlands around the globe, including Central America, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and East Africa.

Extreme weather and a warming world are making it harder to grow coffee in these regions.

It's a crisis that is under control, for now, but if a solution is not discovered soon we could be farewelling our morning saviour sooner than we think.

 

BUTTER

No more croissants when butter is a thing of the past
No more croissants when butter is a thing of the past

IT'S no secret Australia has been weathering a mass butter shortage over the past couple of years, with prices in popular supermarkets soaring beyond belief.

The issue has even become a problem in France, the home of the world's best buttery pastries.

Again, this shortage is due to consumer demand when it comes to all natural foods, so more people are welcoming butter back into their diets rather than processed vegetable spreads.

Even McDonald's vendors across the US and Europe have put butter back into their recipes instead of margarine, which adds up to tens of thousands of tonnes of butter for just the one retailer every year.

As such, dairy producers are struggling to keep up because of the shift towards full fat products.

It is anticipated the market will catch up with time, but until further notice we will have to put up with expensive prices for this staple ingredient.

 

COCONUT

Coconut farmers in the Philippines have reported most trees have passed their production peak and are entering decline.
Coconut farmers in the Philippines have reported most trees have passed their production peak and are entering decline.

WE'RE all officially nuts for coconuts. It's a scientific fact.

Demand worldwide has exploded by 500 per cent in the past decade, with some of our favourite products made from the tasty seed including coconut water, milk, ice-cream, oil and yoghurt.

But ageing trees are drastically threatening to reduce supply.

While business is at a record high for the industry at the moment, in coconut producing regions including Indonesia, the Philippines and India, it is predicted to rapidly plummet because of ageing trees and production declines.

Coconut farmers have reported that after 60 years most of their trees passed their production peak and entered decline.

Some estimates even suggest the world needs to plant a billion new trees to keep coconut production in line with demand.

The industry is now faced with a predicament of increasing produce at a time when farmers have not been replanting for 20 to 30 years.

 

CHOCOLATE

Choc horror. Chocolate could have a life span of only THIRTY MORE YEARS.
Choc horror. Chocolate could have a life span of only THIRTY MORE YEARS.

TALK about death by chocolate. Our favourite treat could run out in the next 30 years because the crop will be harder to grow in a warming climate, according to experts.

The cacao tree - from which we get cocoa beans - thrives only in humid rainforest-like conditions close to the equator.

But the fragile plant is under threat from diseases and a changing climate that will suck moisture from the soil and make it impossible to produce a good crop in many regions around the world by 2050.

Already demand for chocolate outstrips supply as billions of Asians have found a love of the sweet treat like Europeans and North and South Americans.

Stockpiles of cocoa are running low and the effects of climate change on yields could add up to a serious global shortage.

Topics:  chocolate coconut trees coffee food



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