This list does sound like the grocery list of a 1 percenter who shops only at a Dean & Deluca in Park Slope. (Wine-filled, coffee-flavored, bacon-flecked chocolate is a thing, right? Well NOT FOR LONG.) But the die-off of oysters heralds a serious environmental problem and indicates how quickly the climate is changing. Oysters are dying because of ocean acidification. As Elizabeth Grossman explains at Yale e360:
Colder, more acidic waters are welling up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean and streaming ashore in the fjords, bays, and estuaries of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, exacting an environmental and economic toll on the region’s famed oysters … According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ocean acidity has increased approximately 30 percent since the Industrial Revolution, and if we continue our current rate of carbon emissions, global oceans could be 150 percent more acidic by the end of the century than they have been for 20 million years.
A century ago, oysters weren't a delicacy at all: They were cheap and plentiful. As the climate changes, what we eat will, too. Instead of slurping down oysters, we'll be crunching on crickets and calling it fancy.