The Wall Street Journal reports that the average prices of avocados, butter and olive oil have climbed as much as 60% since 2013. The price of salmon, for example, has ballooned more than 128% since 2012, while sugar prices have decreased more than 40%, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The reason? Keto and paleo diets. And farmers were not prepared for the spike in sales. Nor were their fields.
The new “fat” health kick is also forcing avocado growers and fish farmers to think of new ways to meet the surging demand, as environmental constraints due to climate change become more pressing globally, according to the Journal report. Morgan Stanley found that North America absorbed two-thirds of the total cost of climate-related disasters over the past three years, which is estimated at $415 billion. It warned that number could top $54 trillion by 2040.
Farmers have tough jobs and tough choices to make in order to keep supplies attuned to consumer trends. Add in the unknown effects of climate change and their jobs, as well as our food supply, and it becomes that much more difficult to manage.