How to protect our food from a crazy climate? Consider the hazelnut.

Hazelnuts grown at Rutgers

NATHANAEL JOHNSON / GRIST – In 2013, a cold snap in Ordu, Turkey, set off a chain-reaction that ended with terrible consequences for lovers of hazelnut chocolate.

Ordu is a picturesque city between the mountains and the Black Sea, where a quarter of the world’s hazelnuts grow. So when an untimely frost killed the budding flowers in trees across the region, Turkish hazelnut prices more than doubled, and the world’s largest hazelnut buyer, Ferrero SpA, had to raise the price of Nutella. The world indulgence index sagged. The global joy quotient dipped to dangerous lows.

OK, the threat of a worldwide Nutella shortage may not be an existential crisis, but this is still a cautionary tale …

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