How climate change
will affect the quality and quantity of our food?

Greenhouse gas emissions affect the quantity and quality of our food in two ways: firstly, anthropogenic climate change reduces the yields of major cereal crops, especially in some regions of the world. Secondly, the increase in CO2 concentrations worsens the nutritional quality of food, decreasing the concentrations of proteins, minerals and vitamins normally contained in them.

The decrease in the nutritional quality of crops aggravates the current global challenges related to sustainability: micronutrient deficiencies cause an even greater burden of disease than food insecurity, negatively affecting parameters such as cognitive development, metabolism, obesity, diabetes and therefore potentially the health and well-being of people throughout life.

And the scale of the risks is magnified by the potential effects of higher CO2 concentrations on livestock, which contribute to more than 15% of the global supply of human proteins.

We urgently need to find solutions to ensure that Objective 2 on sustainable development in food security is achieved.

The Lancet Planetary Health, Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate change will affect our food’s quality and quantity.