Climate change, a term we frequently encounter, often accompanied by a sense of urgency, has far-reaching effects that permeate every facet of our existence. But, did you know it’s quietly affecting something as basic as our food?
The nexus between food safety and climate change
Our planet is home to over 8 billion people, a staggering number if you imagine us all gathered in one place. According to the United Nations, this population is projected to surge to over 9.6 billion by 2050 . Consequently, food demand is expected to rise by 60 to 100 percent . The alarming thing is one in nine of these billions are food-deprived , and this chronic hunger continues to afflict the world’s most impoverished populations.
Adding to the complexity of the issue, the consistent rise in temperature has become a daily concern. In March 2015, NASA recorded carbon dioxide emissions exceeding 400 parts per million . As a biotech company, we are challenged with the task of augmenting test production while minimizing our carbon footprint. This is where organizations like the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) step in, promoting research and initiatives related to Sustainable Development Goals.
A shift in food systems
One effective strategy for the food industry to curtail greenhouse gas emissions involves transitioning towards plant-rich diets, incorporating foods such as beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, and grains . By increasing the intake of plant proteins and reducing the consumption of animal-based foods, farms, and agricultural companies can significantly diminish greenhouse gas emissions.
The links between weather patterns and the rise of foodborne diseases
Climate change isn’t just about warmer summers or colder winters. It’s also reshaping the landscape of foodborne diseases. As temperatures fluctuate, so do the geographical distribution and diversity of pathogens in the environment. For instance, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that severe droughts or flooding can affect pathogens and introduce toxins to crops . These toxins can lead to foodborne illnesses when we consume contaminated food, such as norovirus infection or salmonellosis .
How rapid tests can help ensure food safety?
Understanding the importance of food safety to public health, our team of scientists, lab technicians, and researchers have developed innovative lateral flow tests that can provide quick and accurate detection of harmful pathogens, such as Aflatoxin, Chloramphenicol, Clenbuterol, Bacillus Thurigiensis Cry 1 Ab/Ac Protein, E. coli, and more. Our commitment to excellence drives us to continually enhance our product line.
In the near future, we are excited to announce the launch of an expanded range of food safety test kits, such as the Kanamycin/ Neomycin/ Gentamycin 3-in-1 test and the Beta-lactams and Tetracyclines Combo test. These advanced kits are designed to detect a broader spectrum of variants with superior sensitivity, accuracy, and speed. Stay tuned for these exciting developments as we continue to strive for a safer and healthier world.
In conclusion, climate change has a profound impact on food safety. But by understanding this relationship and taking action, we together can help ensure a sustainable future for all.
 United Nations. (n.d.). Food security, climate change and the sustainable development goals | United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/academic-impact/food-security-climate-change-and-sustainable-development-goals
 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (n.d.). Foodborne Illness and Nutrition. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/programs/climatechange/health_impacts/foodborne_diseases/index.cfm