5 foods and drinks that may not be around for the next generation thanks to climate change.

Think long and hard about your favorite thing to eat.

Take in all the delicious smells. The sheer joy from every last bite, sip, chomp, or slurp.


GIF via "Key & Peele."

Now, think long and hard about having to say goodbye to your favorite food forever.

GIF via "Adventure Time."

Because some of America's favorite foods and drinks won't make it much longer.

Yes, these sweet and savory delights are all at risk of experiencing a significant shortage, some as early as 2030.

These are five of the treats at stake and what you can do to stop them from disappearing:

1. Peanut butter. A moment of silence for all that naked toast, y'all.

You eat it by the spoonful when you're alone in your apartment, drop it in smoothies, and turn an ordinary sauce into a can't-miss satay. Americans gobble it up, consuming about three and a half pounds of peanut butter per person each year. It's an affordable pantry staple, packed with protein, and freaking delicious.

Oh yeah, and it's disappearing from the Earth.

Borderline pornographic photo by Dan McKay/Flickr.

It's really hard to grow a peanut, as the plants are kind of temperamental. They need just the right combination of sun and rain to survive each year. Some of the southeastern states where peanuts grow have experienced droughts in the past few years, and peanut plants have simply shriveled up.

Farmers and agricultural researchers are working on drought-resistant varieties, but the big culprit, climate change, isn't going away.

2. Beer. Sweet, sweet beer.

It takes a few ingredients to brew a great beer, including hops. Hops are the flowers making your beer super tasty, and they're primarily grown in the Pacific Northwest. But due to rising temperatures and a dwindling water supply, hop yields have decreased significantly.

Left: Hops on the vine. Photo by The mad Penguin/Flickr. Right: A flight of beers. Photo by Lauren Topor/Flickr.

In March, more than 40 breweries large and small signed on to the Climate Declaration, a group of businesses urging policymakers to act on climate change. Many of those breweries have already done their part to help make their businesses sustainable, but they need some assistance at the top to make a lasting impact.

3. Chocolate. Good heavens. What have we done?

To make delicious chocolate chips, Nutella, and other fudgy delights, you need cocoa. A whopping 70% of the world's cocoa supply comes from West African nations like Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.

I want to go to there. Photo by Various Brennemans/Flickr.

According to a study from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, this region is predicted to experience a 2-degree (Celsius) temperature change by 2050. This may not seem like much, but more water will evaporate from the air and leaves, leaving little behind for cocoa plants. These areas will become inadequate for cocoa production as early as 2030.

4. Coffee. Nature's most aromatic alarm clock.

Ever want to feel alive again, or at the very least somewhat awake? Time to make a move on climate change, amigo.

Photo by Susanne Nilsson/Flickr.

Different varieties of coffee are so closely adapted to their specific region and climate zone that even a half-degree increase can have a noticeable impact. Warmer temperatures can expand the reach of bugs and fungi that prey on coffee plants. In fact, three of the top five coffee-growing countries in the world (India, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia) have seen a significant drop in yield.

And you may be thinking, "Fine, I'll switch to tea." Not so fast. Tea farmers are experiencing problems of their own.

5. All things pumpkin. Yes, even the lattes.

Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin cake. If you've been to a grocery store the past six weeks, you know this list could be very long. And all of it is at risk because of the shrinking pumpkin crop.

Is this the last pumpkin pie ever? No, but don't get complacent with the amount of pumpkin in your life. Photo by David Goehring/Flickr.

Libby's, the company behind 80% of the world's processed pumpkin, suffered a major shortage this year due to an exceptionally soggy summer at its Illinois farm. In the past 100 years, Illinois has experienced a 10% increase in precipitation. And three of the four wettest years in Illinois have happened since 2010.

"We're fairly certain that's tied to climate change," Jim Angel, a state climatologist for the Illinois State Water Survey, told Scientific American.

While none of these foods are critical for our survival, their sharp declines (and price increases) may spur more people to act.

We may not notice if there are fewer snow leopards or if it's a little bit warmer this winter. But when there are just a few cans of pumpkin on the shelf or our morning coffee doubles in price, more and more of us will start to ask questions, take action, and demand change.

If you weren't already doing everything you can to fight climate change, then do it for your favorite indulgence.

Call your representatives, support sustainable industries, let your voice be heard.

Because after all chocolate, beer, and peanut butter (and the growers who make them possible) have done for us, it's time we return the favor.

GIF via cinematic tour de force "Armageddon."

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

Keep Reading Show less