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Our Changing Menu Earth Day Cooking Demo & Community Dinner

by Olivia Cheung

Last weekend, Anabel’s Grocery collaborated with the Our Changing Menu team to celebrate Earth Day! We were joined by Emeritus Professor Michael Hoffmann, former associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Danielle Eiseman, a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Communication. They are authors of the book Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need. The book “uses a typical menu—from appetizers to desserts—to explain how the climate is challenging people in the supply chain who help bring food to your grocery store.” The book gives an overview of the global food system, the causes and impacts of climate change, and what we can all do to help.

Like Anabel’s, the goal of Our Changing Menu is to raise awareness about climate change through food – after all, everyone needs to eat.

We gathered for a two-part event: a cooking demo to make a Spring Vegetable Pasta and a discussion/community dinner with the authors! In the week leading up to the event, we hosted a Giveaway for a meal kit and a copy of the book on the Anabel's Instagram.

We worked together to chop asparagus, mushrooms, and herbs for the pasta mix and made garlic bread and kale salad for side dishes. As we enjoyed the meal and reflected on our favorite foods, Professor Hoffman and Danielle discussed the ingredients we had used. They also talked about widely loved foods such as coffee, apples, and meat.

Wheat: Researchers predict production will decrease by 6% for every increase in 1.8℉. Scientists also indicate that up to 60% of the current global wheat-growing area will likely be affected by simultaneous severe water scarcity by the end of the century.

Asparagus: Variable rainfall in many parts of the world leaves asparagus vulnerable to drought. Increased temperatures can results in changes in color, malformation, and excess fiber in the spears. Warming winters are another concern since asparagus requires a “winter chill” to grow properly.

Peas: Higher temperatures and drought induced by climate change are causing decreases in yield. When grown under conditions that simulate the projected carbon dioxide levels for 2050, they contained less protein and fewer essential micronutrients, like zinc and iron.

Wine: Wine grapes are very sensitive to temperature changes. Under warmer conditions, grapes may be ready for harvest earlier and have higher sugar levels, lower acidity levels, and different aromatic compounds. Higher temperatures can also lead to lower yields and lower quality. Some scientists suggest that the world’s major wine-producing regions may see declines of 25 to 75% by 2050.

By tackling climate change, we can save our favorite foods and keep the planet healthy!

Visit the Our Changing Menu Website for more information! Check out their databases of how food ingredients and planted-based products are being affected by climate change!

Buy the book here!

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