What Natural Products Are At Risk of Disappearing?

What Natural Products Are At Risk of Disappearing?
4 months ago

Some things never seem to change over the years while others are almost constantly evolving. A few of the natural products we’ve grown up with and got used to are now changing so quickly that they might soon be completely different or even disappear completely.

”diamonds…” (CC BY 2.0) by Zanastardust

All Diamonds Might Soon Be Grown in Laboratories

Mining has been one of the biggest industries throughout human history. We understand the risks and rewards thanks to movies such as The 33, Mine 9, and Blood Diamond. Mining is so ingrained in our culture that we can find casino slots based on it too. Bonanza from Big Time Gaming is set in an old-time gold mine where the mining cart brings extra symbols into play. Fire in the Hole takes a different approach, taking players inside a mine where explosives play a big part in the gameplay.

According to Statista, there are an estimated 1.3 billion carats in worldwide diamond reserves and US$13 billion of the gems are mined each year. However, the ability to create artificial diamonds in laboratories could mark a huge shift in the mining industry that makes mining them less profitable. The major shift in this industry is due to the public increasingly leaning toward the lower price and smaller environmental impact of lab-grown diamonds.

The leading diamond companies have already noted a sharp drop in demand and artificial gems might soon completely wipe out the mining industry. We might not be able to get hold of any natural, mined gemstones in the years to come.

Bananas Are Threatened by Global Warming

Bananas are the most exported fruit in the world, with Ecuador and Guatemala among the top exporters and the US the main importer. Climate change means that bananas are getting more expensive, as they’re more prone to diseases like the devastating Tropical Race 4. With consumers also looking for more sustainable bananas, the recent edition of the World Banana Forum in Rome was one of the most challenging to date.

This is a $10 billion industry and the signs are pointing towards some form of mandatory regulations being introduced in the near future. It could lead to bananas becoming more expensive or new varieties being introduced to meet the changing demands of the industry. Another possibility is that this fruit stops being widely exported and becomes extremely scarce or even impossible to find in many countries.

Source: Pexels

Coffee is at Risk Too

You’re not going to lose your daily cup of coffee any time soon. Yet, according to Fairtrade Ireland, climate change could see coffee bean farmers struggling to meet demand in the next few years. They suggest that by 2050 we might not longer be able to find coffee for sale at a reasonable price, as up to 50% of the land used for this product becomes unsuitable. 

Droughts are the main blight in this industry, although the fungus known as coffee rust could also be a factor in the loss of our daily shot of caffeine. Over 90% of the coffee farmers in Kenya that they spoke to are worried about the potential loss of their income as warmer, drier weather makes it more difficult to grow the much-loved beans.

Bananas, diamonds, and coffee will hopefully all be around for a long time yet, but maybe not in the way we’ve become used to them or at a price we’re happy to pay. 

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