According to Mark Hertsgaard of The Daily Beast, scientific studies and real-world observations are indicating that as "temperatures rise and storms and drought intensify in the years ahead," wheat -- the staple grain of our food used to make things like pasta and bread -- will be hit especially hard.
At a durum and wheat mill in Minot owned by the Philadelphia Macaroni Co., general manager Kevin Schulz is equally dismissive. Philadelphia, he says, makes pasta from durum milled at this plant for Kraft and Campbell's Soup.
"I don't think we've ever given it a thought," he replies with a grin, adding, "I don't believe in man-made climate change."
Informed that scientists at both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency linked the record heat and drought of summer of 2012 with man-made climate change, Schulz says this is news to him. Nevertheless, he holds firm to his conviction that climate change is a ruse to justify greater government regulation: "I just don't think we've got enough data to say climate change is real."
Not everyone is sticking his head in the sand. Barilla, the largest pasta company in Italy, claims to be taking a number of measures. To limit its climate-related risks, says spokesperson Marina Morsellino, Barilla is globally diversifying its supply chain so that bad weather in one region does not leave the company without adequate supplies of durum. It is also "developing new varieties more resistant to ... extremely dry or wet conditions," she adds, while encouraging farmers to employ such traditional practices as rotating durum with numerous other crops, a strategy Morsellino says can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 55 percent.
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