Rachel Paige
November 17, 2014 9:51 am

Put down the bag of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate morsels, we might have a problem on our hands. We’re consuming so much chocolate on a monthly — weekly, daily, hourly, etc. — basis that chocolate producers can’t keep up with our demand. Adding to our list of worldly woes: an impending chocolate shortage.

According to a report that will be published in Bloomberg’s Pursuits Holiday 2014 issue, “the gap between how much cocoa the world wants to consume and how much it can produce will swell to 1 million metric tons.” If that’s not scary enough, “by 2030, the predicted shortfall will grow to 2 million tons.” The chocolate shortage springs from things like “drought, rapacious new markets and the displacement of cacao by more-productive crops.” What that means: We’ve got a chocolate crisis on our hands. For as much as we consume, the world simply can’t keep up with our constant demand. If there’s one thing I never wanted to fathom being without in this world, it’s chocolate.

While yes, this might be a perfect reason to panic and maybe head down to Costco to stockpile giant Hershey’s bars for the future, we shouldn’t worry — yet. Scientists, who I must believe love chocolate just as much as we do, are hard at work trying to fix this problem for us. While an effort to make chocolate strictly in a lab has left the product, “tasteless,” they’re still attempting new approaches. One idea: trying out new ways to grow the crop, and even new “hybrid” chocolate plants, which will hopefully solve all of our chocolatey problems.

A direct impact to us is still a few years away, and there is currently enough chocolate to feed us — for now. But, this is something to think about for our future. I really don’t want to run into the situation where one day I’m telling my great great grand-children about a delicious product that I used to consume from sunup to sundown. They’ll look at me the same way I look at my grandfather when he talks about going to the drug store to get a “sarsaparilla.”

Please save our chocolate, science.

(Images via here and here.)

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