• Youth Energy Squad

How is Climate Change Impacting Your Food?


Context:

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our food system in numerous ways. Grocery store workers and truck drivers are continuing to work with few guarantees of hazard pay and personal protective equipment to prevent contracting the virus. Shoppers are experiencing shortages of products and prices are increasing to reflect these shortages. Farmers are throwing fresh produce away due to changing supply chains and restaurant sales have been significantly reduced. Although all signs point to this pandemic ending at some point, the vulnerabilities in our food system will not end here.

This pandemic provides some insight as to how other events, like climate change will also have significant impacts on our food system. In this activity, we will focus on the biological impacts of climate change on food. Other impacts that climate change could have on food systems may include:

  • Changing ecosystems forcing shifts in food production

  • Increasing food costs due to scarcity of products

  • Limits in production of crops due to water scarcity, flooding, and droughts.

Goals: Age Group: 6-12

  • Learn about biological changes in food due to climate change

Supplies: Time: 15-30 minutes

  • Paper for notes (Optional)

Instructions:

Watch this video on the biological impacts of climate change on plants: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HulsvwRN8YM

Next, answer the reflection questions.

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you noticed changes in how you or your family get or buy food due to the pandemic? Have you noticed changes in your diet?

  • What did you learn from the video about the plants that become your food? What did you learn about climate change? List them in your notes or on some paper.

  • What do you think could happen to the food you eat if climate change reduces the nutritional value of plants?

  • (Remember: many foods that you eat are made from plants, even if they aren’t vegetables. Corn chips, like Doritos, are made from corn.)

  • Would changes in the nutritional value of plants have impacts on your diet and your health? Why or why not?

  • How could negative changes in your diet and/or health impact your resilience to extreme events, such as a pandemic or climate change impacts?

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