Kiss Your Chocolate Addiction Goodbye: Cacao Plants Could Become Extinct in 40 Years
We have some bad news that might leave you como agua para chocolate. Literally.
Experts have begun to warn about the possibility of the cacao plant becoming extinct by the year 2050. This past year, we’ve experience first hand the effects of climate change through a hurricane-heavy season and the below-average temperatures sweeping through the nation this winter.
For the precious and extremely delicate cocoa plant, things are looking dark.
Cacao plants can only grow 20 degrees north and south of the equator, where the tropical rainforest climate is found year-round. Currently, most of the cacao harvested for consumption comes from West Africa, since the areas where it grew in Central American have been decimated due to fungal diseases.
But these areas could see an increase in temperature and drier conditions which would put the already vulnerable plant in peril.
Fret not, your Snickers bar is here to save the day! Well, not it per say but Mars, Inc. the company behind the popular chocolate bar (and other favorites).
According to Business Insider, in September 2018 the company pledged $1 billion as part of an effort called "Sustainability in a Generation," which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its business and supply chain by more than 60% by 2050.
They’ve also teamed up with UC Berkley’s Dr. Jennifer Doudna, founder of CRISPS, a technology that tweaks DNA, that has already been used to make crops more reliable. They aim to genetically modify the cacao plant so it becomes more resistant for the changes to come.
In the meantime, we’re going to go ahead and raid the isles of our grocery stores just in case... porque una vida sin chocolate es como una primavera sin mariposas.
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