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Chocolate as you know and love it could disappear by 2020: scientists

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Surprised woman caught eating chocolate (Shutterstock)

According to a recent report by two of the world’s largest chocolate makers, the gap between how much chocolate the world consumes and how much cocoa manufacturers can produce will become unsustainable in 2020.

Disease, drought, an increase in demand from Chinese markets, as well as the rising popularity of dark chocolate — which requires more cocoa to produce — have combined to create what will swell to a 1 million metric ton deficit by 2020, and a potential 2 million metric ton deficit by 2030.

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Hershey has responded to this increased demand by upping the price of its bars, and other chocolate makers have followed suit, which is why cocoa prices have skyrocketed by 60 percent since 2012 — the first year in which the world consumed more chocolate than it produced.

Efforts to increase cocoa production have been hampered first by drought in West Africa, then by the Ebola epidemic, which has strangled trade even with countries not stricken by the disease, like the Ivory Coast.

A fungal disease known as “frosty pod” has also ravaged cocoa production in Central and South America, wiping out an estimated 30 to 40 percent of production capability. Many fear that it is only a matter of time before this disease, as well as witches’ broom, will make its way across the Atlantic.

But as Bloomberg’s Mark Schatzker noted, even if supply is able to keep up with demand, chocolate-lovers may not be happy with the result.

“Efforts are under way to make chocolate cheap and abundant,” he wrote, “in the process inadvertently rendering it as tasteless as today’s store-bought tomatoes, yet another food, along with chicken and strawberries, that went from flavorful to forgettable on the road to plenitude.”

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Because breeders rarely focus on the flavor of the crop they are trying to improve, the disease-resistant varieties of chocolate developed in recent decades has a flavor profile that ranges from what Ed Seguine, a chocolate expert, called “acidic dirt” to “just average.”


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2020 Election

Chris Wallace yells at Trump after debate goes off the rails: ‘Frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting’

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Fox News moderator Chris Wallace admonished President Donald Trump for repeatedly refusing to let Democratic nominee Joe Biden have the floor at Tuesday night's debate.

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"We have ended that segment, we're going to go to the next segment," the moderator explained, turning to Trump. "I think that the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions. I'm appealing to you, sir, to do that."

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2020 Election

Joe Biden: ‘It’s hard to get any word in with this clown’

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Wife of beloved country singer who died from coronavirus calls for ‘idiot’ Trump to get off debate stage

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Fiona Whelan Prine, the widow of beloved country folk music singer-songwriter John Prine, called for President Donald Trump to be taken off the stage during Tuesday night's presidential debate.

"Can someone get that fucking idiot off the stage. My husband died on his watch," Whelan Prine urged via Twitter.

Can someone get that fucking idiot off the stage. My husband died on his watch

— Fiona Whelan Prine (@FionaPrine) September 30, 2020

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