WEBINAR: Exploring the Connections Between Climate Change and the Foods We Eat

Watch the webinar recording below!

What’s going on with the foods we love and the ingredients we need? Prices are increasing, aromas and flavors are changing, nutritional quality is declining, and some foods are even more difficult to find and source – all because of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report predicts that the impacts of climate change, such as droughts, floods, and fluctuating and extreme temperatures, will intensify food insecurity for millions of people. Food insecurity isn’t a problem only facing those outside of North America – it impacts us all. And while we associate the Great Lakes region with its rich farmland and plentiful yields, not to mention its large freshwater supply, it is not immune to the effects of climate change. 

During this webinar, we explored how a changing climate is affecting the foods we eat – the ones we love and the ones we need. We dove into region-specific examples and considered what strategies we need for a sustainable food system. We also learned how we can use the common ground of food to help make climate change relevant to everyone — we all eat and it’s all changing. We can join forces and help tell this story and bring about the societal changes that are desperately needed to keep food on the table, and coincidentally, help confront climate change.

By registering for this webinar, you can receive 33% off the purchase of the book Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need when ordered from Cornell University Press. When ordering, use the code 09SAVE to apply the discount.

Event Speaker: 

Michael Hoffmann, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University and Author of Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need

Mike Hoffmann dedicates his time to the grand challenge of climate change and helps people understand and appreciate what is happening through the foods we all love and need. Melting glaciers are bad enough, but the loss of coffee is downright terrifying – this keeps him going.

It’s a science-based message about what is happening and what we all can do about it. He has published climate change articles in the popular press – The Hill, Fortune, and USA Today and is lead author of Our changing menu: Climate change and the foods we love and need (Cornell Press 2021). His TEDx Talk – Climate change: It’s time to raise our voices has been well received.

Mike’s life’s experiences include growing up on a one-cow dairy farm, serving in the Marines during the Vietnam War, being a father and someone’s partner for 51 years, and many years in leadership roles at Cornell University including Executive Director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Change Solutions, Director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, associate director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program.

He now holds the title of Professor Emeritus. He received his BS Degree from the University Wisconsin, MS from the University of Arizona, and PhD from the University of California, Davis. He will tell the climate change story, until he can no longer.

Event Moderator: 

Lora Shrake, Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Lora Shrake is the Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability for the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), where she is working with a growing network of business leaders to connect across sustainability issues and support the advancement of cross-sector solutions. Some of the programmatic areas include circular economy, water stewardship, and climate change and decarbonization. Lora also facilitates CGLR’s monthly business and sustainability webinar series, providing a platform for knowledge sharing and amplifying regional best practice.

Lora’s career experience spans across non-profit operations, environmental program management, stakeholder engagement, strategy, and research. Prior to joining CGLR, Lora led a national green building council in the United Arab Emirates where she oversaw all aspects of the organization’s cross-functional development, including its impact and reach.

About Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need:

Our Changing Menu unpacks the increasingly complex relationships between food and climate change. Whether you’re a chef, baker, distiller, restaurateur, or someone who simply enjoys a good pizza or drink, it’s time to come to terms with how climate change is affecting our diverse and interwoven food system. 

Michael P. Hoffmann, Carrie Koplinka-Loehr, and Danielle L. Eiseman offer an eye-opening journey through a complete menu of before-dinner drinks and salads; main courses and sides; and coffee and dessert. Along the way they examine the escalating changes occurring to the flavors of spices and teas, the yields of wheat, the vitamins in rice, and the price of vanilla. Their story is rounded out with a primer on the global food system, the causes and impacts of climate change, and what we can all do. Our Changing Menu is a celebration of food and a call to action—encouraging readers to join with others from the common ground of food to help tackle the greatest challenge of our time.

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