4 Foods that you Love and Could Go Extinct

Imagine a world without pasta or beer where we couldn’t enjoy their taste and properties. It wouldn’t be the same, would it? We hope that this blog makes you aware of the important role played by the foods mentioned below and that you understand why we must work as a team so that they don’t become extinct.   

Pasta or spaghetti  

The first food that is about to say goodbye to existence is pasta, which we have used to create so many recipes, either accompanying it with other foods or making variations in its shape, such as lasagna.

You may wonder: why could this food disappear? Well, it happens that the production of durum wheat flour from which pasta is made has been greatly reduced due to the negative consequences of global warming such as the decrease of water and the lack of rainfall in some seasons. Therefore, Italy, the main producer of pasta in the world, is considering that it will have to export only the other ingredients used to make this product, instead of exporting the product itself. This data was presented by the British Meteorological Office.

What can we do to stop its extinction?  

As we have already mentioned, the reason why pasta is disappearing is the increasing difficulty to grow the wheat used to make flour due to global warming. What we can do to prevent this is fighting against climate change, either by saving energy and water or by stopping the use of aerosols that damage the ozone layer so much. On the other hand, large factories and companies must also act in a more environmentally friendly way and governments must establish new laws that support decarbonization, mitigation of emissions, and adaptation to climate change.



In the #2 position, we have nothing less than rice, another meal that accompanies us day in and day out, especially in our lunches and dinners.  The reason, as in the case of pasta, is that climate change has affected this crop. It has been warned for almost a decade that desert soils and high temperatures make it difficult for the rice crop to flourish, so it is predicted that, proportionally to the increase of heat in the land, rice production will decrease. Rice production has already been reduced for the above-mentioned reasons, in percentages of approximately 10% to 20% worldwide compared to previous years.

However, there is an ironic situation in all this: rice cultivation itself causes great deterioration on the planet because a large amount of water is used to drown the weeds, and often this water is not drained and accumulates, causing the appearance of bacteria that produce methane.  

Methane is a substance capable of accelerating global warming 25 times more than carbon dioxide. We must also stress the fact that it is not only the production of methane in this crop that is harmful but also the misuse of water, which is an indispensable resource for life.

What is being done to prevent its extinction?  

Fortunately, scientists are beginning to investigate how to create a “super rice” that does not need this excessive amount of water that causes methane to be produced and instead can be grown on dry land.  

These experiments are currently being conducted at the International Rice Research Institute. 


Hops and barley (Beer)   

On multiple websites, you’ll find that beer is about to disappear from this planet, but what will actually disappear is hops that, along with barley, is one of its essential components.  

The fact is that the loss or reduction of these ingredients is caused by the environmental problems that generate forest fires and devastating storms. It is said that the frequent occurrence of these catastrophes will make these crops scarce and, therefore, beer will have a higher price, which will significantly reduce its consumption.

In addition, the industry considers that beer is not an essential food for mankind and yet a significant amount of water is used to brew it, so this represents an unnecessary and significant waste of resources.  

On the other hand, barley is mostly used for animal feed in the livestock region and only an exclusive number of the finest barley species are used for the alcoholic beverage, so this is another reason why companies are considering reducing their production, which means that there is likely to be less and less beer in the world. The figures for this reduction would represent 29 billion fewer liters of beer on the entire planet.

What is being done to prevent its extinction?  

As for beer, fortunately, new methods are being implemented to make this alcoholic beverage more environmentally friendly.  One of these methods consists of replacing hops (one of the ingredients that give beer its characteristic flavor), since it requires a large amount of water to grow (to harvest only half a kilo of hops you could need between 1100 and 1700 liters of water). This is why Charles Denby, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, investigated how hops could be substituted, and it was here that he discovered that yeast could be used.  

Together with his university colleague Rachel Li, they used a yeast strain called terpene that produces the chemical compound of hops that gives beer its flavor, and the result was even better because the beers they created with this method had even more hop flavor than traditional beers. This beer was named Berkeley Yeast and, today, it is distributed by hundreds of companies.


Bonus: Avocado (the food that is said will go extinct, but  actually won’t) 

What we actually want to do in this section is to disprove this myth. Avocado is not officially in danger of extinction, but some of its relatives such as potatoes and pumpkins are. They are said to be destined for extinction for the aforementioned reasons of global warming and because most of their varieties are not consumed and therefore not produced; only the most common types of potato and pumpkin are, which greatly reduces their overall consumption and biological variety.  The point is, what actually happens with avocados is the miracle of them not being extinct before, and we’ll tell you why.

It’s a funny thing, thousands of years ago this vegetable was only consumed by the huge animals that lived at the time, and the way it reproduced after consumption was that its seed would be defecated by these animals; where it fell a new crop would grow later, thanks to the rain and the wind that promoted its growth.  

It could be said that avocado crops expanded by chance but once these animals became extinct, avocados seemed to become extinct as well since there would be no one to cultivate them anymore, and it was here when humans arrived.

When society discovered this food, it began to harvest it on a large scale: only this time intentionally. But it was not only thanks to humans that the avocado was preserved in time, it seems that the role it has had in various food dishes, masks, or various gastronomic trends created by humanity itself, has made the avocado crop one of the most produced worldwide.  

So, contrary to disappearing, avocado has become one of the most popular foods in history, don’t you think so?


What about potatoes?

Now, returning to the subject of the avocado’s food relatives such as the potato, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research warns about the importance of collecting its cuttings before it disappears in order to conserve them in the future, through its cultivation. For this there are seed banks also called the doomsday seed vaults that are located in various parts of the world, not only to preserve the potato but also to protect certain crops in case of a major environmental disaster. One of these banks is the International Potato Center where they collect the largest number of potato strains in the world; at present, they have collected and safeguarded 4600 types of potato.

Additionally, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research points out how beneficial these crops are. This is because some of their genes are predisposed to pest resistance, making them one of the crops that will last the longest, and the longer they last, the greater their contribution to the planet will be.  On the other hand, in Africa, there have been projects to biologically strengthen potatoes so that they are resistant to extreme temperatures such as drought. It is expected that this project can be expanded throughout the world in the coming years.


To recap, we can observe that, although it is true that these foods could become extinct is a serious matter, there is still time to prevent it or to devise forms of cultivation that are not so harmful to the environment. And it is more than clear that we must take action as soon as possible to reduce this damage. If we all do our bit, we can preserve these diverse foods and, therefore, Mother Earth.