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Three Brunch Staples Are Under Threat, but Gene Editing Could Help Save Them
Spring is (finally!) in the air, which means outdoor brunch season is just around the corner.
But a changing environment and changing diets could make three iconic brunch items a thing of the past.
Global coffee crops and Florida’s citrus crops are beset by pests, disease and the looming challenge of climate change. Just one of these threats, a small beetle called the Coffee Berry Borer, infected 30 percent of Brazil’s coffee crops in 2017, causing prices to double.
At the same time, Americans are increasingly reporting food allergies and sensitivities, including to wheat – one of the most common adult-onset sensitivities. This is leading to changes in diet, with consumers forgoing many breakfast favorites, such as cereal, avocado toast and bagels.
Thankfully, scientists are now using agricultural innovations like gene editing to develop more resilient sources of orange juice and coffee, as well as reduced-gluten wheat and healthier flour.