Climate change is coming for your Sriracha

by | Jun 14, 2022 | News

First they came for our bananas and potatoes, next it was the chocolate and wine … and now the much-loved Sriracha hot sauce.  

Food production is a sector of increasing concern in a rapidly warming world, say the experts. Can’t imagine a world without Sriracha? Eco health and wellness mag Green Queen reckons you may want to increase your efforts to combat climate change as drought conditions have put a stop on Huy Fong’s Sriracha orders through September.

Sriracha is the latest item on a growing list of foods in short supply worldwide, including sunflower oilwheatmustard and cereal.

Monterrey, Mexico, an industrial city home to more than five million residents, has put strict restrictions on water use as the region suffers an historic drought and demand for water is exceeding its supplies. Residents have been given a six-hour window daily for water usage, from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m.

That water shortage is also impacting Irwindale, California-based Huy Fong Inc., better known as the company behind the popular Sriracha hot sauce.

‘Unprecedented shortage’

“Unfortunately, we can confirm that there is an unprecedented shortage of our products. We are still endeavoring to resolve this issue that has be caused by several spiraling events, including unexpected crop failure from the spring chili harvest,” the company said in a statement.

“Currently due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili [than 2020],” the company said, “and without this essential ingredient we are unable to produce any of our products.”

Huy Fong says it’s not taking new orders before September. Consumers are buying it in bulk where possible. But that won’t fix the problem, experts warn.

The shortage follows a slew of warnings about climate change, most notably the recent IPCC report that called for drastic and urgent drops in emissions to thwart surpassing a 1.5°C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels.

Other foods are also facing threats as a result of climate change. Staples including potatoes and bananas are at risk, so too are some of our favorite vices: coffee, wine, and chocolate. France’s wine industry has begun taking steps to address the threats including looking at new grape varietals and working with vineyards to increase sustainable farming methods.

‘Now or never’

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C,” IPCC Working Group III co-chair Jim Skea said in a statement accompanying the report. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

“Climate change is the result of more than a century of unsustainable energy and land use, lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production,” Skea said. “This report shows how taking action now can move us towards a fairer, more sustainable world.”

Green Queen 

Photo by Hiroko Nishimura on Unsplash

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