Chocolate Catastrophe

For all the chocolate-lovers out there, this may not be the article for you. Prepare to be devastated because, according to scientists, chocolate may be extinct by the year 2050. So get ready to store as much chocolate as you can because it will soon disappear in the upcoming years.    

A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that cacao plants, the very plants that produce chocolate, will become impossible to grow in the next 30 years due to the drastic climate changes that have been occuring. Cacao plants are only grown in rainforests and  deep tropical parts of the world, most notably, the regions of Central and South America, as well as West Africa. Due to the recent sporadic changes within the weather and global warming, these cacao plants are becoming very difficult to maintain and grow.

However, there is still hope out there for all of you who just can’t live without their chocolate. The University of California, in collaboration with Mars- the well known American candy company who makes some of your favorite chocolate sweets, such as Twix and Snickers- are studying ways to preserve cacao and genetically modify their DNA. Using CRISPR technology, they are working on ways to create cacao plants that will be able to survive the rising temperatures across the globe.      

With a whopping $1 billion in funds to aid in the research, they are still studying ways to make cacao plants more resistant to viral and fungal diseases that emerge from intense temperatures. However, they are still facing many issues among their research. According to UC Berkeley’s Innovative Genomics Institute press, “the vast majority of cacao is produced in West Africa, and reducing the amount of cacao-producing land to an even narrower region could speed up the spread of disease.”

Mars and the University of California are continuing studies on preserving cacao and believe they can prevent the extinction of chocolate. This just goes to show how climate change is a real issue, affecting environmental factors and changing the world as we know it. Climate change has the potential to quite possibly create devastating impacts in the entire global food chain.  Luckily, scientists are working on ways to overcome climate change and producing ways to conserve the plants that make all of our food. So, hopefully, all you chocolate-lovers out there can still enjoy your favorite chocolaty sweets beyond the next 50 years. 

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