Hold on to your chocolate — because it might just be going the way of the dinosaurs. Yep, your sweet, sweet little dessert indulgence may become a thing of the past. Whoa. What’s going on and what could possibly make chocolate disappear? The problem isn’t with the candy bars and chocolate squares themselves. It’s with the cacao plant.
Changing weather conditions, such as warmer temps and less rain, may send the cacao plant into extinction. The plant requires the warm, rain environment of the evergreen rainforest to flourish. So when the rainforest’s weather doesn’t cooperate, cacao plants suffer.
Along with weather issues, cacao plants are falling prey to nasty fungal diseases and other plant-health issues. The Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus is infesting cacao farms, putting chocolate crops in danger. Between the weather and the plant disease, scientists are predicting the end of the plant’s days by the year 2050.
Scientists from the University of California at Berkley are working with Mars Incorporated (the makers of such yumminess as 3 Musketeers, M7M’s, Snickers, Milky Ways and Dove) to keep the cacao plant alive and growing. And we’re totally hoping they figure out a solution to saving this sweet-producing plant before it goes away.
What chocolate product would you miss most if there were no cacao plants? Tell us in the comments below.