This timely book takes its readers on a fascinating international tour to demonstrate the effects of climate change on the global food chain. Engaging and well researched, the authors’ message is clear: the system of food production and consumption has to change and everyone must play their part.
The book’s twelve chapters focus on crops or commodities that are threatened by climate change, including almonds, coffee, carrots and wine. Many of the case studies reveal the absurdities of monoculture (e.g. soy beans and maize in Iowa and Brazil) and how exposed farmers are if prices fall or temperatures deviate outside the plant’s comfort zone.
Water – either through scarcity or excess – is at the heart of many climate-related agricultural problems. The book makes it clear that government policies and local politics have a huge role to play: how governments allocate water for agriculture and for human consumption involves tough decisions about trade, human rights and environmental concerns. These conflicts of interest are brought to life in Scorched Almonds through the authors’ extensive and meticulous research involving farmers and agricultural researchers all over the world, ensuring that their big-picture arguments are fully supported by everyday examples ‘on the ground’.