While you’re in your cubicle munching on some chocolate cake from a colleague’s birthday, scientists in London are working to save the world’s supply of chocolate. Didn’t know chocolate needed saving? Now you do.
As our seemingly insatiable demand for all things cocoa grows, cacao plants can’t keep up. Not to mention that the cacao tree is one of the most delicate, disease-prone plants in the world. A team of scientists known as “Operation Wonka” at the International Cocoa Quarantine Center in London is attempting to find disease-resistant and high-yielding cacao plants, according to The Daily Mail. The center is also trying to make sure that the plants do not pass on life-threatening diseases that are proven to ravage them.
"If you really want to continue enjoying chocolate and the chocolate products and produce, you should care about what I'm doing, else at some point you are going to run out of your chocolate," researcher Okemi Obok told CBS News. “Depending on the strain of the virus, you could have a total crop loss ranging from 50 to 100 percent.”
This means that with the right disease, chocolate could face a serious worldwide shortage. We’d like to take the time now to thank our cocoa superheroes.