Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The future of chocolate


                                       Like most things we can only too easily take chocolate for granted...


image from Scientific American

This article might be worth a read if you like chocolate as I do.


The Future of Chocolate

Researchers are racing to fortify the embattled cacao tree and to meet increasing demand for cocoa made from its seeds
Cover Image: February 2012 Scientific American Magazine
Monday, February 13, 2012
"the five million to six million farmers in the tropics who cultivate the cacao trees from which cocoa is produced rely on the sales of the seeds to feed themselves and their families. Workers extract the seeds (often called beans) from football-shaped pods and then ferment and dry them to form cocoa liquor, butter and powder. The livelihoods of another 40 million to 50 million depend on the long production road the cacao seeds travel from farm to candy on store shelves. In Ivory Coast, which produces 40 percent of the world’s cocoa, such farming accounts for a full 15 percent of GDP and employs 5 percent of households.
“Many of these farmers use their cacao trees like ATM machines. They pick some pods and sell them to quickly raise cash for school fees or medical expenses. The trees play an absolutely critical role in rural life,” observes Peter Läderach of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, who led recent research into the effects of climate change on cacao farming in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Those countries, along with Nigeria and Cameroon, produce 70 percent of the world’s cocoa supply.
But the delicate “chocolate tree,” Theobroma cacao, is in peril."

image found here
image also found at blog above

6 comments:

ronnie said...

oh golly - no choccie? perish the thought!!!!!!!

Valerianna said...

oh my... yet ANOTHER thing to worry about. But, I've relinquished singling things out, I know that its all in peril. I do LOVE chocolate however, so... a moment to pause and be grateful for it!

Sophie Munns said...

I know...
most of us have a fondness if not addiction to the stuff... yet we tend not to imagine theres any chance it won't be available any time soon.
Spread the word Ronnie!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Valerianna,

At first I overlooked your comment then suddenly found it... I completely understand that feeling of OH NO! not another thing...
But chocolate being what it is to us... a mostly harmless feel-good treat...it's a seed we could do well to place far more value on knowing this aspect of the chocolate story.

Gratitude... yes...thats a great place to start!
thanks for visiting!
S

Carole said...

Eye opening article. Thank you Sophie.

grrl + dog said...

sadly,

this tree will be saved because we love it so much while others less loved perish..

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