Why Climate Change May Threaten Your Annual Slice of Pumpkin Pie

By path2positive

The health effects of climate change are diverse, and hearing about odd sounding, new vector-borne diseases certainly isn't comforting. Reasonable or not, however, to many people, these new diseases sound rare enough to be unlikely to hit home. Threatening your Thanksgiving, though? Now *that* may sound alarming. Food insecurity is one of the greatest climate effects of which we know. And now, the region of Illinois that grows ninety percent of the United States' pumpkins, is anticipating that their annual crop yields will be reduced by half due to an unusually rainy season. As Natasha Geiling reports in ThinkProgress below, "Heavy spring rains are consistent with the kind of weather Illinois can expect to see in the future due to climate change, according to the National Climate Assessment, an increase in both average precipitation and heavy precipitation is projected for Illinois by the middle of the current century." Americans care deeply about our traditions, and while the threat of losing pumpkin pie may seem silly, it is a reflection of our changing times.

Major Pumpkin Supplier Is Anticipating Yields Cut In Half


By Natasha Geiling I Oct 8, 2015

The potential consequences of climate change are pretty well known: rising sea levels, global food insecurity, more frequent and extreme wildfires, stronger storms.

But what you might not know is that climate change could also threaten your holiday slice of pumpkin pie.

This year, Libby’s Pumpkin — which supplies more than 85 percent of the world’s canned pumpkin — is anticipating that their annual pumpkin yields will be reduced by half due to an unusually rainy late spring and early summer. The company, which is owned by Nestle, is headquartered in Morton, Illinois — the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world. Ninety percent of the United States’ pumpkins are grown within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois, which is just 10 miles from Morton.

Illinois experienced record-setting precipitation in June, with more than nine inches falling over most of the state throughout the month — 5.33 inches above average. From May through July, prime growing months for the kinds of processing pumpkins found throughout Illinois, the state received almost two feet of rain — 10.4 inches above average, according to Jim Angel, Illinois’ state climatologist.

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