inflation is finally Easy, Americans are paying less for gas than they were a year ago. The prices of furniture, televisions and airfare have dropped since last summer. Even the used car market is cooling down after a huge boom. But an unexpected item has become a staple in many American kitchens: olive oil. price of already expensive Liquid fat has reached record highs this summer.
This is the latest chapter in history inflation When scorching temperatures damage crops and drive up food prices. In Spain, the world’s biggest producer of olive oil, a year of drought and extreme heat has devastated the country’s olive groves. Spanish olive oil production declines half – Up from an estimated 1.3 million to 610,000 metric tons over the previous year. Now fear is rising There is a real possibility that the country’s stock will run out before the next harvest begins in October.
As Bloomberg columnist Javier Bias recently said, “For Spaniards, this is a real crisis.” wrote, “We liberally slather our food in olive oil.”
It’s also a big deal for the rest of us, considering that half of the world’s olive oil comes from Spain. As the barrels run dry, chefs around the world are paying an almost unheard-of premium for the nutritious, liquid gold that makes salads tastier and breads more nutritious. Around the world, olive oil has now become expensive $8,600 per metric ton, more than double and nearly 14 times higher than a year ago crude oil, (It would cost you about $720 to fill a typical car’s 12-gallon tank with olive oil.) found on amazon,
“What’s happening is not normal at all,” said Kyle Holland, a vegetable oil analyst at food market research firm Mintek. “It was very hot and very dry for a very long time.”
Olive oil is one of many foods – one of many condiments, even – that are at risk from the severe and unpredictable weather caused by climate change. As global temperatures rise, droughts become more frequent, it becomes harder for farmers to manage the heat, and wildfires and floods become more threatening to growers around the world. As a result, grocery store shelves are running out of food and food stocks prices rising, Extremely dry conditions in Mexico have dried up chilies, causing… sriracha reduction in the United States. Record temperature rise has destroyed Georgia’s reputation peachIt needs a few weeks of cool weather each winter to bloom. sauce, coffeeAnd Liquor All too well may end up on the chopping block.
Olive trees are no strangers to heat, and they don’t require as much water as other crops like tomatoes. Humans are cultivating them in the warm climate of the Mediterranean – and crushing them for oil at least 6,000 years, But even hard olives have their limits. temperature up 86 degrees Fahrenheit Their ability to convert sunlight into energy may be impaired, and prolonged drought may prevent them from producing shoots, buds, flowers and fruit.
Productive in the Mediterranean, a warm region 20 percent faster compared to the rest of the world and source 95 percent Olive oil production is particularly vulnerable. Tunisia’s grain harvest declines due to drought 60 percent this year. and dry conditions resulted in lower yields wheat And Rice Last year, the Italian farmers whose produce helped create the country’s legacy of pizza, pasta and risotto. This summer, they’ve had to contend with extreme heat, historic floods and severe hailstorms, according to David Cammarano, professor of agricultural ecology at Denmark’s Aarhus University. With such variability in the weather, “it becomes very difficult to manage the harvest in the Mediterranean,” he said.
one in Study Published last year, Cammarano and his colleagues found that rising temperatures could cut production of processing tomatoes — the type used to make tomato sauce and ketchup — 6 percent in Italy, America and other countries within the next three decades.
Perhaps no one has had a worse situation this year than olive growers in Spain. The country got between October and May 28 percent Below normal rainfall, driest conditions in the southern, olive growing regions. “It’s a disaster,” said Primitivo Fernandez, head of Spain’s National Association of Edible Oil Bottlers. told Reuters in March. Spain had its hottest April on record, with temperatures rising above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. and it’s getting hotter more punitive Since, the country is now in the midst of third heat wave of the year.
As a result, researchers Droughts and heat waves linked to climate change are expected to continue take their toll On olives from the Iberian Peninsula to Lebanon. Hot and dry conditions last year scorched trees not only in Spain, but also in Italy and Portugal, two of the world’s top four olive oil producers.
Also in the United States, inclement weather is a concern for olive farmers, although unlike the rain-fed orchards in Spain, most orchards in the Americas are irrigated, which makes them more resistant to drought. Producers in California, the state that produces the most olives but still contributes the least 3 percent All olive oil consumed in the US is reportedly harvested one fifth Rainfall this season, below their historical average, has resulted in some farmers’ wells drying up due to the lowest rainfall in years.
Winter and spring storms eased California’s drought last spring, but cooler weather and heavy rainfall slowed flowering and potentially delayed flowering, according to Jim Lippman, chief operating officer of California Olive Ranch in Chico, the nation’s largest. As a result, the amount of oil in each olive decreased. Olive oil producer.
In an email to Grist, Lippman said demand for California oil has increased due to higher prices in Europe and a strong crop in the upcoming harvest season at California olive ranches, which begins in October. As mentioned, the initial heat followed by frost has resulted in crop failure in two of the last five seasons.
At the Burroughs family farm in Denaire, California, production has been fairly steady over the years, but “we’re down this year” possibly as a result of the “incredible” amount of rain, said Benina Montes, managing partner. Regenerative almond and olive farm in California’s Central Valley. In a good year, the farm’s 10 acres of olives can produce up to 40 tons of oil. This year, they produced about three-quarters of that amount.
Montes said she was not tracking reports of shortages in Europe. But he estimates that an increase in demand due to Spain’s low inventory may have helped his business. “No wonder our olive oil is selling well on Amazon.”