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

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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

Here are 3 winners and 3 losers from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate

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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the other leading Democratic presidential primary candidates Wednesday night in the fieriest evening of the race so far.

His presence on the stage drew fire from the other candidates, but it also seemed to change the overall tone of the debate, with more attacks, counter-attacks, and passion than was generally seen earlier in the campaign.

Here’s a (necessarily subjective!) list of the winners and losers from the fray:

Winners

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — Warren hit her stride right as the debate started by attacking Bloomberg for his record on the mistreatment of women, racist policies, and his tax returns. She repeatedly came back to skewer the former mayor, making herself the biggest and most notable presence in the debate. But importantly, she also continuously brought the discussion back to the issues she cares about — like expanding health care, environmental justice,  and consumer protection — while getting in digs at the other candidates on the stage.

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After bombing in #DemDebate internet changes Mike Bloomberg’s ‘death’ date on Wikipedia

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Someone online changed former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's information on Wikipedia during the Wednesday debate to say that he died on Feb. 19.

After being ripped to shreds during the MSNBC Democratic debate, it became clear that Bloomberg wasn't quite as prepared as the other Democratic candidates.

The Wikipedia article was also changed to indicate that his cause of death was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

https://twitter.com/joshrobin/status/1230333066280886273

Bloomberg had several unfortunate moments, namely his refusal to release female accusers from nondisclosure agreements, he came out in favor of fracking, he blamed India for China's involvement in climate change, and many many more things.

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Internet slams ‘cringe-worthy elitist’ Mike Bloomberg for saying he’s too rich to use TurboTax

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At the Democratic presidential debate in Nevada, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stumbled after being asked when he will release his tax returns, when he suggested that he "can't go to TurboTax" because he's too wealthy.

Moderator: "You've said you'll release your tax returns, but why do Democrats have to wait?"

Bloomberg: "We do business around the world. The document will be thousands of pages. I can't go to TurboTax."

😂😂😂#DemDebate

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