Chocolate is considered the ultimate comfort food and the best way to beat the stress, but experts have warned that it could go extinct soon. The cacao plants, which are a natural source of chocolate, could disappear by 2050 due to global warming, Business Insider reported.
Yep, nobody can deny that climate change is real, and the warmer temperatures and dryer weather means chocolate could be extinct as soon as 2050. Two-thirds of the world’s cocoa come from West Africa, with the Ivory Coast being the biggest producer of the plant in the world.
According to Cho, this is possible with the help of a new technology called CRISPR, which allows for tiny tweaks in the DNA which will make the crops cheaper and more reliable. Climate change is also adversely affecting the world’s wine market. Cacao plants occupy a precarious position on the globe.
The trees can only grow within approximately 20 degrees north and south of the Equator – and they only thrive with high humidity and abundant rain.
Experts predict the world could run out of chocolate within 40 years because cacao plants are struggling to survive in warmer climates.
Yet, those regions won’t be appropriate for chocolate in the following couple of decades. Officials in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana – which produce more than half of the world’s chocolate – will face an agonising dilemma over whether to maintain the world’s supply of chocolate or to save their dying ecosystems.
However, as per Business Insider, genetic modification might offer a solution to this problem. In the event that all goes as arranged, they could create cacao plants that don’t shrivel or spoil at their present rises, getting rid of the need to migrate homesteads or discover another approach.
Mars’ decision to collaborate with UC Berkeley scientists is a part of this initiative. Jennifer Doudna, the geneticist who invented CRISPR, is overseeing the collaborative effort with Mars, the company behind Snickers and M&M’s. An avid tomato gardener, Doudna thinks her tool can benefit everyone from large food companies like Mars to individual hobbyists like herself.
The exploration lab she regulates at UC Berkeley is known as the Innovative Genomics Institute. One such project aims to protect cassava – a key crop that prevents millions of people from starving each year – from climate change by tweaking its DNA to produce less of a risky toxin that it makes in hotter temperatures.
Doudna established a company called Caribou Biosciences to incorporate CRISPR, and has additionally authorized the innovation to rural company DuPont Pioneer for use in crops like corn and mushrooms.