Chocolate could disappear as early as 2050 as experts predict that cacao plants are struggling to survive in warmer climates.
This disclosure has encouraged the scientists from the University of California at Berkeley and they have started their work with Virginia-based manufacturer Mars to save the cacao plant from disappearing.
Under the guidance of Myeong-Je Cho, the director of plant genomics at an institute that’s working with food and candy company Mars, UC Berkeley scientists will modify the DNA of the plants. If the experiment is proven successful, these crop’s tiny seedlings will soon be capable of surviving and thriving in different climates.
It’s all about a new technology called CRISPR which allows modifies to DNA and these modifications are already being used to make crops cheaper and more reliable.
Cacao plants can only grow in the shaded rainforest understory and reach 20 m in height where temperature, rain, and humidity all stay relatively constant throughout the year. But now, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, those areas won’t be suitable for chocolate within 40 years because the rapidly increasing temperature will lead to pushing today’s chocolate-growing regions more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain.
Officials in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana which produces over half of the world’s chocolate will face a difficulty over whether to maintain the world’s supply of chocolate or to save their disappearing ecosystems.
The previous report in August unveiled that underpaid research associates are working nights and weekends at the lab to save our valued candy bars.
Scientists have successfully used CRISPR technology at first, and it will be a key tool in a growing collection of techniques. If we continue to eat things like chocolate as the planet warms, we will need technology like this.