April 30th, 2012

Global Warming Leads to Death of Chocolate?

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Groovy Green Livin chocolate climate change

Chocolate Crisis

Chocolate lovers you are officially placed on high alert: a chocolate crisis is coming. Chocolate is something many of us take for granted. I know I do. The shelves at the grocery store are filled with chocolate choices, restaurants menus are lined with chocolate desserts. It’s hard to imagine life without chocolate.

But life without chocolate is a real possibility, or at the very least chocolate could become a luxury item with a high price tag. Chocolate comes from the raw ingredient cacao, mainly produced in West Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.  West Africa provides over 53 percent of the world’s chocolate.

Chocolate is a heat-sensitive crop and even a small increase in temperature will affect the crops. A report released shows why there are big problems to come for the cacao tree:

…an expected temperature rise of more than two degrees Celsius by 2050 will render many of the region’s cocoa-producing areas too hot for the plants that bear the fruit from which chocolate is made, says a new study from the Colombia-based International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Warming temperatures and changes in the precipitation pattern will mean rapid declines in growing conditions over the coming decades. Not good news for the cacao tree and in turn bad news for chocolate suppliers and lovers on a global level.

Cacao is mainly farmed by small farming operations whose livelihood is placed at risk as cacao tree begins to fail.  These small farmers are starting to look for other job opportunities in the more lucrative local logging industry and moving away from chocolate.

What Can We Do?

  • On May 5, 2012 350.org is building a global grassroots movement to work on solving the climate crisis by organizing Climate Impacts Day. On Climate Impacts Day we are all being encouraged to Connect the Dots between climate change and extreme weather. Head on over to 350.org and type in your zip code – you’ll  find an event in your area to help support the communities on the front lines of the climate crisis.
  • I’ve also taken a personal pledge to fight climate change. Join me in any of my 4 Resolutions to Fight Climate Change.

There are many other things we can do to fight climate change. Are you taking any steps to fight climate change?

This post is part of  the another fabulous Green Moms Carnival carnival hosted this month by Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse.  The carnival goes live Thursday, May 4, 2012.  Be sure to stop by for lots of great information on ways we can all connect the dots and fight climate change.

Photo:Pile of dark chocolate isolated © Dmitry Rukhlenko #1109622 Deposit Photo

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9 Responses to “Global Warming Leads to Death of Chocolate?”

  1. Thanks for the update, climate change is put in perspective when we see the potential consequences in our daily lives. I’m sure cacao plants are not the only ones affected.

  2. Climate change is certainly a scary issue and very real! I just shared this post with my children…it really ‘hit home’ to my daughter that adores chocolate. Thank you!

  3. Oh no my boyfriend will be so upset!! He is a chocoholic!! The worst of them. I guess we may see some prices rising on the shelves soon. Scary!

  4. Chocolate is only the beginning. Changes to the climate means changes to what can be grown. As much as I love chocolate, it’s more scary to think about the effects on the kinds of foods we actually rely on, like vegetables and grains! Some days I try not to think about how little we know about what the future holds. :(

  5. Hi Susan, You are so right-cacao plants aren’t the only plants affected. I thought we could start there since most of us can’t live without chocolate! It truly is frightening to see how we could all be affected if we don’t do something soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Angela, I’m so glad you shared this post with your children. I tried to share it with my three chocolate lovers and I’m not sure they got it.

  7. Hi Meg, I think there are a lot of chocoholics out there (me included!) so hopefully this will hit home with some of us. At the very least I would envision high chocolate prices in the future.

  8. You are right Andrea-chocolate is only the beginning. There are so many ways climate change will impact all of our lives-including all the true foods. I try to approach all of this with baby steps otherwise it can be way too overwhelming!

  9. […] Lori at Groovy Green Livin’ sounds the alarm on an impact I care about almost as much as poison ivy: the availability of chocolate! […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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