Science and Health: Will there be enough to eat? Climate Change’s impact on how we get our food

GHHEditor January 12th

A recent article by scientists Tim Wheeler and Joachim Von Braun reports that climate change may be keeping people from getting the food they need to survive. To read the article, click here. Millions of people worldwide go hungry, and higher temperatures, drought, floods, and severe weather destroy crops and make growing and transporting food harder. All of this makes food more expensive and difficult to get.


Too many people, too little food

Seven billion people live on Earth today. Many of them go hungry–and the population is growing.  The problem is a big one now. If you add the growing strain of climate change, the situation gets even worse.


Who will be less likely to get the food they need?

“Food insecurity” is a term that means not having the resources (money, knowledge, transport) to get the nutritious food needed for good health. People who aren’t able to buy healthy, nutritious food are at very high risk for getting chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. If the world’s food supply is decreased because of severe weather and other climate-related problems, food will become more expensive and harder to find. The variety of available foods could decrease as well. This will strongly affect low-income people and may lead to more people who are without the food they need to survive.


Because of this, it has become important for the world’s leaders to start looking into a “climate-smart food system.” This means thinking ahead to create a plan to ensure that people most likely to suffer from food insecurity will be able to get the nutrition they need.


What can we do?

There is hope. There are ways we all as a community can work together to make food more available locally and globally. Some of this is already happening right here in Harlem–check out these innovative food access projects:


Urban Farming is more and more popular in many cities. It is an empowering way to give people easier access to fresh healthyfoods. There are several urban farming organizations in Harlem, an example being Harlem Grown, a non-profit organization that was started in 2011. It works with children of all ages to teach them how to live healthy and ambitious lives by teaching them farming, recycling and composting skills, along with information about sustainability and nutrition. For more information on Harlem Grown, check out the "related articles" sidebar and read many articles on the organization’s founder, Tony Hillery, and his innovative organization.

New York is also home to the Corbin Hill Food Project , which works to bring farm-fresh fruits and vegetables into the city making fresh local food available at very affordable prices.


Farmer's Markets are a great way to bring food fresh from a farm to the people in towns and cities. The 125th street farmers’ market in Harlem not only provides a place to purchase fresh produce, but provides free fitness classes and health education. They also accept EBT so everyone can buy fresh produce. 




Just Food, an organization devoted to bringing “healthy, locally-grown food” to New Yorkers, hosts two farmers markets right here in Harlem which open for business in the summer and run into November. 


There’s lots of opportunities to get fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. Take  advantage of them!  



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