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New study reveals devastating impact that rising temperatures could have on food prices — here's who may be hit hardest

Sadly, experts believe this upward trend isn't going to slow any time soon.

Sadly, experts believe this upward trend isn’t going to slow any time soon.

Photo Credit: iStock

The cost of living is increasing worldwide as global conflict and supply chain issues, among other factors, make grocery shopping much more expensive for the average family.

Sadly, experts believe this upward trend isn't going to slow any time soon.

What's happening?

According to researchers in Germany, as Phys.org detailed, global heating is increasing the price of essential food items, and worryingly, scarcity and inflation may be stopping people from eating healthily.

Experts believe that rising temperatures will increase food prices by up to 3.2% every year. In five years, a weekly grocery shop that costs $100 in 2024 might cost around $120.70. Over the year, that could add over $6,000 to the food bill. 

If unusually warm days persist, there will be an increased risk of extreme weather conditions like droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and intense storms. Hotter conditions will make it harder to grow crops without a healthy water supply. Reduced yields could raise prices along the supply chain.

Which countries should be most concerned?

According to the study, Africa will be hit the hardest. Phys.org cited the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said West Africa will see rising temperatures and reduced rainfall. As this region relies on rain-fed agriculture, countries like Ghana will be notably affected.

West Africa, where most chocolate companies source cocoa beans, is already dealing with damaged crops because of devastating heat waves. This is increasing the price of chocolate, while the lower yields are hitting the incomes of farmers and workers, who are already struggling to get a fair wage for the crops they handle.

What can be done to improve food security?

The researchers said that reducing planet-warming pollution would help ease the likelihood of rising temperatures.

This starts with government policies to reduce the harmful gases produced by big businesses and to punish dirty fuel companies that continue to contribute to global heating.

Changes can also be made on a much smaller scale and can still have a tangible impact. For example, eating one plant-based meal a week with your family can help prevent pollution equivalent to taking a car off the road for five weeks, according to EarthDay.org.

When it comes to food security, though, taking matters into your own hands could mean you don't have to buy everything you need to eat in a week. 

Growing fruits and vegetables at home is a great way to reduce your usual food spending, and it will also help to improve your mood, increase exercise, and bring pollinators to your outdoor space.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

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