By Tobi Schwartz-Cassell
Okay. I don’t want to alarm you, but industry specialists are predicting that by 2020, we could be in for a major chocolate shortage. And though 2020 sounds far away, just remember how far away Orwell’s “1984” seemed. Now we’re looking at 1984 in the rearview mirror. Plus, 2020 is only 5 years away!
But enough calendar counting. Here’s what it’s all about.
Business journalist Paul Conley is a contributing editor for “Food Dive,” a food industry blog. In his January 14, 2015 post, “Five foods that may be headed toward extinction,” he writes, “The cocoa beans from which chocolate comes are under attack on a variety of fronts, and any of them pose an existential threat to the crop. There are plant diseases like “witches’ broom” and “frosty pod rot.” There are human diseases like Ebola that threaten the growing regions. There’s soaring demand driving prices higher and higher, pointing toward an era of hoarding. Some of the smartest companies in the chocolate industry think a major shortage is likely by 2020.And after that, things could get worse.”
The smartest companies in the chocolate industry that Conley refers to are Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut of Switzerland.
How on earth could we live without chocolate? I can’t even think about it.
Conley, on “Food Dive” in November 2014 states that there are two ways we could possibly prevent such a catastrophe:
1. According to Bloomberg News, there is an effort to create new disease-resistant strains of cocoa. The problem is that so far, what they’ve come up with doesn’t taste very good.
2. Conley suggests we eat less chocolate. Yeah, right. Like THAT’S going to happen.
All I know is, there’d better not be a shortage down the road. Like meatloaf and mashed potatoes are comfort foods to some, chocolate is my go-to. Among the non-edibles–jewelry.
And the other four foods that may be headed toward extinction?
What’s your go-to comfort food? Please be sure to comment!