New Research Says Chocolate Could Be Extinct by 2050

New Research Says Chocolate Could Be Extinct by 2050

Concerned farmers have been looking for alternatives to relocate cocoa production to more mountainous terrain, which, according to scientists, may ruin ecosystems that have already been suffering from deforestation and illicit farming.

The places where cacao plants, necessary for the production of chocolate, grow are in danger of becoming warmer, drier, and less suitable for cacao cultivation, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The project stems from a new technology, CRISPR, which changes DNA to make crops more reliable and cheaper, helping areas affected by climate change, according to Business Insider.

These plants grow in very specific conditions and areas - within 10 degrees north and south of the equator - featuring nitrogen-rich soil, lots of humidity and abundant rainfall. These (presumably sweet-toothed) researchers are hoping to use the technology on susceptible crops, like our beloved cacao plants. Half of the world's chocolate is produced in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, where the plants thrive at around 300 to 850 feet above sea level and under dependably humid weather conditions.

Mars, the $35 billion corporation behind brands like Snickers and M&Ms, has pledged $1 billion as part of an effort called "Sustainability in a Generation", which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its business and supply chain by more than 60% by 2050.

Barry Parkin, Mars' chief sustainability officer, told Business Insider: "We're trying to go all in here..."

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Its drive with Cho at UC Berkeley is another arm of that endeavors.

Berkeley's gene-editing technology, called CRISPR, has been in the works for a while, though when it gets attention, it's nearly always for the potential to eliminate genetic diseases or (sort of on the extreme end of this) build "designer babies".

An ardent tomato nursery worker, Doudna figures her device can profit everybody from substantial food organizations like Mars to singular specialists like herself.

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.