Climate change has already started to unleash its fury, from megastorms to flooding to ravenous fires. But the way many people will first experience this phenomenon is in the quiet of their homes—at the dinner table. As Amanda Little, author of The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World, puts it: “Climate change is becoming something we can taste.” And the flavorful foods we treasure are in peril.
In this special series from Bite, we explore how farmers, chefs, policymakers, and food lovers are reckoning with this shift. We traipse through rye fields and vineyards, peek inside futuristic laboratories, and catch up with some of the politicians vying to lead the country.
While there’s plenty cause for concern, we promise not to completely ruin your appetite. Although the food system plays a huge role in driving climate change, it also holds the key to how we might tackle it. “What the new science tells us is, actually, we can solve it,” argues environmental activist and chef Anthony Myint—“and we’ll eat better, too.”
Trailer: Eating in Climate Chaos
Episode 1: “All the Delicious Foods Are Dying”
Which foods will climate change hit first? Journalist Amanda Little has some warnings about the tastiest delicacies—from cherries to coffee. Delicious foods aren’t the only thing we need to worry about: We hear from a scientist who’s studying how increasing carbon dioxide levels are making plants less nutritious. But it’s not all bad news! We visit a farm in California to learn how a tiny berry could have huge lessons for us about droughts.
Episode 2: In Vino Veritas
Wine growers in Napa can no longer rely on the consistent fog and cool nights that brought the region global fame. Mother Jones politics reporter Kara Voght takes a break from covering the Hill and travels to Napa to learn about how vintners are coping—and why wine matters in the conversation about climate change. And Tom Philpott travels to Iowa to witness the wreckage from this year’s flooding and to drink beer with a very spirited rye farmer.
Episodes 3 and Beyond