Savor that slice of pizza, that last bite of tomato toast, and your perfected tomato salad. It may even be time to start relishing in your ketchup. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but climate change is now taking a toll on the beloved tomato.
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California is the world leader in the production of canned tomatoes which are used in pasta sauces, soups, salsa, and more recipes than you could ever imagine. While we are at the mercy of the Golden State for being responsible for all of our favorite foods, it is also experiencing the the worst drought in over a thousand years.
"We desperately need rain," Mike Montna, the head of the California Tomato Growers Association told Bloomberg. "We are getting to a point where we don't have inventory left to keep fulfilling the market demand."
A quarter of the world's output of the fruit comes from California, so this barren state will result in a major impact on the cost of tomato-based products across the globe. Between the lack of water, increased costs of labor, and overwhelming fuel costs, the future of the tomato is uncertain.
According to a USDA statement, tomato supply has consistently decreased since the peak production in 2015 of 14.4 million tons, and agricultural experts expect the trend to continue downwards. Companies who rely on canned tomatoes for its products will likely see a shift in the price of these fruits, and just the general availability of them sooner rather than later.
As the climate crisis gets worse and worse, the tomato shortage will too. If you want to learn more about how changing weather patterns are affecting our everyday lives, check out the stories below: