This week, the avocado-loving precincts of the internet were alarmed by a report from Think Progress that the fast food chain Chipotle might have to suspend sales of guacamole. The culprit? Avocado price fluctuations caused by extreme weather events associated with climate change.
"In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients," Think Progress quoted from the company's annual report.
The response from Chipotle was swift and unequivocal: not so fast. In several public statements, spokespeople for the company maintained that the line from the annual report was merely a "routine 'risk factor' disclosure," which companies are required to make to investors. “We saw similar issues in 2011 and incurred higher prices for the avocados we used,” spokesperson Danielle Winslow told Bloomberg Businessweek, "but never stopped serving guacamole."
All of which means that Chipotle fans can stand down their green alerts.
It doesn't mean, however, that climate change poses no threat at all to our food supply. A leaked report from the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found last year that rising temperatures could dampen food production by as much as two per cent each decade for the rest of the century, due in large part to the sensitivity of many crops to heat waves.
In the gallery above, we've collected five different foods that researchers report could be at risk of disappearing — or at least becoming prohibitively expense — due to climate change.