Around the Bluhmin’ Town
No more cocoa? Not exactly making headlines, yet a full-blown disaster is heading our way. My sister-in-law gifted me a small box of chocolates for Christmas with a note that read, “Enjoy now. The world is running out of chocolate.”
Evidently there are major “cocoa production disruptions” in the regions (mostly West Africa) that grow the plants, due to drought and rising temperatures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts cocoa to be extinct by 2050! Today, we are in a cacao tree farming decline and chocolate prices have risen 46 percent! Brace yourself and plan now for the apocalypse.
Yes, Dear Readers, there is slim hope that cocoa plants will survive the crush of drought, floods, or pestilence. Soon the plants will wither and eventually die, and with it all hope of chocolate chip cookies, hot cocoa in the winter, or a candy bar to brighten our days. No box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Never a slice of chocolate cake. Forget about the gooey goodness that has been with us throughout our lifetime. Farewell, my friendly chocolate covered cherry. Time is running out.
How do we love thee? Let’s count the ways. On top of ice cream! Icing on cakes! Syrup, fudge, candy, brownies, sauces, donuts, éclairs, little bars of magic that taste so delicious and make life a little sweeter. Some things are irreplaceable. People we loved. Pets we adored. And chocolate. It is the romantic candy, the epitome of decadence, the thing that says “special,” the recipe that requires expert care, the frosting that is scrumptious. It is the one ingredient from our childhood that we cannot live without!
I know there are people who claim not to like chocolate. But the average American eats about twenty pounds of chocolate per year! Annual global consumption is over 7.5 million tons. Even China, introduced to chocolate about forty years ago, now has 300 million folks who crave the dark, wondrous substance, and that number grows by about fifty million per year! What are we all to do without it?
The good news is that cocoa extinction is still speculative. Some scientists claim the cocoa plant will not completely “die out” and we can relax. Yet, Nestles Company claims in two short years the “shortage” of chocolate will be “real and painful.” Soon we will be paying a king’s ransom to eat the stuff – the old supply and demand theory. And then some idiot will have to spend five bucks for a candy bar. (Possibly me).
We might need a strategy to deal with the coming “chocolate drought”. Buy it, freeze it, store it, do whatever, to try and keep our supply while it is affordable and available. Grab it now because the word “later” is filled with heartbreak and disappointment.
My husband, Doug, claims I worry too much and then points out that the much-anticipated bacon and Velveeta cheese shortages were nothing more than hoaxes. Yes, but this “supply decline” of cocoa is happening right now!
Let’s stock up and indulge. Life is better with chocolate. One kiss at a time.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Contact Judy at [email protected] or visit www.aroundthebluhmintown.com.