Food prices are rising and one of the reasons for this is climate change. A new report from the Texas Department of Agriculture points to a warming planet due to the fact that it is damaging agriculture and pastoralism.
In addition to climate change, food prices have also been negatively impacted by the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, higher fertilizer costs and higher energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The report, titled “The Texas Food Access Study,” explains that record droughts and record floods are taking a toll on the state’s ability to grow food, exacerbating food insecurity in Texas.
Edwin Marty, Food Policy Manager for the City of Austin, said the impacts of climate change on food availability are clear.
“Temperatures are sometimes hotter, sometimes colder, sometimes wetter, sometimes drier. It seems like a contradiction, but it is the essence of the climate change we are seeing. Unfortunately, this cycle is playing out against agriculture in Texas,” Marty said.
A food access study conducted in conjunction with the University of Texas at the Rio Grande Valley found that “climate instability” exacerbates soil loss, water quality, droughts, fires, floods, and other environmental disasters in the state.
“It is very difficult to grow fruits and vegetables and graze livestock in conditions that are both unpredictable and extreme,” the company explained.
2022 was one of the driest years in Texas history, and by the end of the year, about half of the state was still suffering from drought.
This has led to crop failures and low productivity for farmers. The ranchers were forced to kill their livestock.