Are you sitting comfortably? Cup of tea and a couple of Quality Street leftover from Boxing Day? We have some news. You may need to savour them because the future of chocolate is not looking too sweet.
Scientists predict that cacao plants (responsible for producing our favourite sweet treat) will struggle to survive in the changing climate. 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. However, researchers at the University of California are teaming up with Mars to research ways to save the crop. Erm, surely it's worth going back to University to be part of that project?
The average consumer eats 286 bars of chocolate a year (it's not often we can be smugly 'above average'...), but in order to produce that number, ten cacao trees must be planted. So this demand is depleting stockpiles and we must find a way of still being able to grow cocoa to match our sweet tooth.
The scientists have planted rows of tiny cacao seedlings in greenhouses using gene-editing technology CRISPR to assess whether altering the DNA of the seeds will enable them to survive these future climates. And this 'super chocolate' is our only hope at still enjoying Dairy Milk by the time we're hitting retirement and buying proper chocolate advent calendars for our grandchildren (switching to beauty ones would get expensive).
So, if you're sticking to your New Years resolution to eat less chocolate, it may be worth rubbing that one out and enjoying it while it lasts. So BRB, off to grab a Kinder Bueno. Can't take any risks.
The biggest food trends of 2017
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