From 8 to 80 almost all off us more or less love chocolates. But a recent study is saying that within 2050 chocolate will become extinct. How much truth is there in this study? Know it from the article below.
How do you deal with bad news when one of the finest ways to deal with bad news is being taken away from you?
“Chocolate is on course to go extinct in 40 years,” according to a Business Insider piece by Erin Brodwin. Cacao plants, the natural source of chocolate (also known as bliss), may become extinct by 2050, according to reports.
Cacao plants, on the other hand, appear to be becoming more and more susceptible to fungus and climate change. Climate change may intensify coastal flooding, wildfires, and hurricanes, promote the spread of insect-borne diseases, ruin coral reefs, endanger hundreds of animal species, and degrade our current way of life, but would it put chocolate in jeopardy? That’d be going too far.
Fungal illness is not a new threat. Michael Moyer wrote for Scientific American in 2010 on how the spread of witch’s broom, frosty pod, and other delightfully named fungal diseases had nearly wiped out cocoa plants in their native Central America. Scientists are concerned that these fungi could spread to other regions of the world, wreaking havoc on the famous chocolate-making plant.
Cacao plants are Emo and highly sensitive, which is an issue. Cacao trees require special “rainforest”-like circumstances, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website: relatively constant temperatures, high humidity, plenty of rain, nitrogen-rich soil, and wind protection. Just 20 degrees north and south of the equator, same conditions exist. Currently, the major chocolate producers are Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia, but the two West African countries produce more than half of the world’s chocolate. As a result, even minor climate changes could put the world’s chocolate supply at risk. Indeed, climate projections estimate that by 2050, these places will experience a 3.8°F (2.1°C) increase in temperatures and drier conditions, thus shrinking the potential growing areas even further.
While extinction predictions may be premature, these tendencies show that unless anything is done, chocolate’s future may be in jeopardy. One alternative is to address climate change, which begins with acknowledging its existence and significantly reducing pollution, also known as peeing all over the Earth and each other.
Is there anything that can be done to rescue our favourite chocolate if climate change continues? “They may take our polar ice caps, our forests, and our globe as we know it, but they’ll never take our chocolate!” says a character in the film Braveheart. Earth is receiving support from Mars during this time of crisis. No, not J’onn J’onzz, but Mars, as in the fourth planet from the Sun. However, Mars refers to a corporation that, among other things, produces chocolate.
Mars, Inc. has vowed not just to reduce its carbon emissions as part of its “Sustainability in a Generation” campaign, but it is also collaborating with outside scientists to grow more hardy cocoa trees. This involves working with Dr. Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a Japan Prize-winning scientist and one of the creators of CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) techniques. CRISPR technology allow scientists to “edit” genes, perhaps resulting in genetically edited cocoa plants that are resistant to fungi and can survive in a wider range of environments.
Of course, the idea of eating chocolate made from GMOs (genetically modified organisms) may make you nervous. Furthermore, because CRISPR is still a relatively new technology, only time will tell how effective these techniques are at finding remedies. However, if current climatic trends continue, life in a few decades may not be the same as it is now.
Again, it’s debatable if chocolate will go extinct in 30 years. In 30 years, a lot can happen, and experts are now warning that cocoa plants are endangered, though they aren’t predicting their extinction. Whatever the case, the risks to chocolate demonstrate how vulnerable our food supply is. Even though your local grocery store appears to have plenty of food, that doesn’t mean our food supply will be able to keep up with our rising population and changing weather. Climate change is already affecting various parts of our food supply, such as wheat yields and fish availability.