Risotto in Italy is Suffering From an Extreme Drought
Italian risotto is becoming more expensive due to climate change, which is resulting in lower rice yields.
It seems that Italy's rice yield is being destroyed by the extreme heat that has been occurring across Europe recently.
Rice needs water first and foremost to grow. The Washington Post reported on Friday that the amount of available water this season is nowhere near the amount needed by young rice. However, it only needs one to two inches in the winter, and six to seven inches in the summer. According to Italy's main agricultural group, rice yields will decrease by 30 percent.
Italy's agricultural flatlands are in trouble because of extreme drought, which has dried up a major river and caused a state of emergency in the northern part of the country. The weather has been detrimental to Fabrizio Rizzotti's crops this year, according to the Post. Last year, his company produced 350 tons of white rice. Despite the drought, he said 150 tons would be enough this year.
While extreme weather has become more common, some think that is unlikely as well, at least in the near future.
According to Rizzotti, if Italy's rice production declines, the price of risotto will rise. Rizzotti said he's eaten rice several times a week in the country for most of his life, and for many, rice is the first food they eat. Both Italian culture and population depend on it.
This year, France has experienced a Dijon-mustard shortage due to extreme weather, but rice and risotto wouldn't be the first food-related casualties. The Italians are now worrying that a shortage of rice, and risotto, would affect their diets and livelihoods in a similar way to Parisians' concern over the shortage of the condiment.