The traditional Christmas dinner might be at risk from major threats to food from climate change and population growth, argues a Stirling academic.
Writing in The Conversation, Professor Rachel Norman, Chair of Aquatic Food Security at the University of Stirling, points out that political uncertainty is a risk to people’s food security. Due to the uncertainties of Brexit, one estimate is that Christmas dinner will cost 14% more than last year – and that’s before the UK actually withdraws from the EU.
Professor Rachel Norman, said: “Climate change and more intensive farming are causing new and emerging diseases. Prawn and shrimp production, which since the early 1990s has been under attack from white spot syndrome virus, probably due to more intensive farming. Worth considering as you tuck into your smoked salmon or prawn cocktail starter on December 25.”
“Turkeys are under threat from bird flu, farmers have been told to keep them indoors to protect them. This meant some turkeys would technically fail the requirements for free-range status by spending too long in barns.”
She added: “Although our Christmas dinner is probably safe for this year, the issues we are encountering may well be a sign of more serious things to come and we need to start finding some solutions.”