farm2table.pdf - 7 FOOD SAFETY NUTRITION AND DISTRIBUTION A...

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Unformatted text preview: 7 FOOD SAFETY, NUTRITION, AND DISTRIBUTION A safe and nutritious food supply is a vital component of food security. The impacts of climate change on food production, prices, and trade for the United States and globally have been widely examined, including in the recent report “Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System.”7 An overall finding of that report was that “climate change is very likely to affect global, regional, and local food security by disrupting food availability, decreasing access to food, and making utilization more difficult.” This chapter focuses on some of the less reported aspects of food security, specifically the impacts of climate change on food safety, nutrition, and distribution. There are two overarching means by which increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and climate change alter safety, nutrition, and distribution of food. The first is associated with rising global temperatures and the subsequent changes in weather patterns and extreme climate events. Current and anticipated changes in climate and the physical environment have consequences for contamination, spoilage, and the disruption of food distribution. The second pathway is through the direct CO2 “fertilization” effect on plant photosynthesis. Higher concentrations of CO2 stimulate growth and carbohydrate production in some plants, but can lower the levels of protein and essential minerals in a number of widely consumed crops, including wheat, rice, and potatoes, with potentially negative implications for human nutrition. Farm to Table The Potential Interactions of Rising CO2 and Climate Change on Food Safety The food system involves a network of interactions with our physical and biological environments as food moves from production to consumption, or from “farm to table.” Rising CO2 and climate change will affect the quality and distribution of food, with subsequent effects on food safety and nutrition (see Ch. 7: Food Safety). U.S. Global Change Research Program 18 ...
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