Mars Candy Teams Up with Scientists to Prevent the Extinction of Chocolate

Can you imagine living in a world without a rich decadent chocolate cheesecake cake? Or what about a bone chilling winter without a piping hot mug of hot chocolate? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, living in a world without chocolate may become a reality as soon as 2050 if global warming persists. But not if Mars can help it - the candy company not the planet. Teaming up with the University of California Berkeley, the two are determined to prevent chocolate from going extinct.

While you may be more familiar with chocolate in its sweet candy form, it's a product derived from the cacao plant. The majority of the world's chocolate producing cacao plants grow in two West African countries - Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. There, the cacao trees thrive in the rainforest climate where weather conditions stay fairly consistent. That is, until temperatures began to rise due to global warming.

Chocolate may go extinct in 40 years, says study #FACTS JAN. 2, 2017. According to a new study, the #Cacaoplant is slated to disappear as early as 2050 thanks to warmer temperatures and more arid weather conditions. Scientists from the University of #California are teaming up with #Mars company to try and save the crop before it is too late. Researchers are exploring the possibility of using gene-editing technology called CRISPR to make crops that survive the new weather challenges. According to an article published in The Independent, it is mentioned that Myeong-Je Cho, the director of plant genomics at an institute that is working closely with Mars, is working towards creating a more resistant version of #cacao plants that will survive, and thrive in dryer, warmer climates. According to Cho, this is possible with the help of a new technology called CRISPR, which allows for tiny tweaks in the DNA which will make the crops cheaper and more reliable. Cacao plants can only grow within a narrow strip of rainforested land roughly 20 degrees north and south of the equator, where temperature, rain, and humidity all stay relatively constant throughout the year. Over half of the world's #chocolate now comes from just two countries in West #Africa — Côte d’Ivoire and #Ghana But those areas won't be suitable for chocolate in the next few decades. By 2050, rising temperatures will push today's chocolate-growing regions more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain — much of which is currently preserved for wildlife, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mars, the $35 billion corporation best known for #Snickers is aware of these problems and others presented by climate change and subsequently, in September, 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 per cent by 2050. #NINFONETWORK #FOODNINFO #ENTERTAINMENTNINFO #VEHICLENINFO #FOODANDWINE #FOODNETWORK #EATER #HERSHEY #LEFOODING #LONDON #DAILYMAIL #BBC #TRUECOOKS #chefsofinstagram #NYC #LAEATS #OMAGAZINE #MARTHASTEWART #IVORYCOAST #DROGBA

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As temperature rises, NOAA researchers claim that the cacao plant will no longer be able to thrive in West Africa. According to The Independent, those warmer temperatures "will push today's chocolate-growing regions more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain." With that particular area of higher elevation preserved for wildlife, it presents an even bigger problem for the future of the chocolate industry.

That's where the candy company Mars and UC Berkeley have stepped in. Mars and UC Berkley are determined to keep chocolate lovers in supply of their favorite food and find a way in which the plant can survive in the face of global warming. UC Berkeley geneticist Jennifer Dounda has developed a new technology known as CRISPR that will genetically modify the DNA of the cacao plant to survive the new challenges that come with global warming. CRISPR will allow future generations of the cacao plant to adapt to their changing environment.

In the meantime, NOAA recommends dealing with the issue by choosing selectively bred seeds that can withstand drought.

"These changes in climatic suitability are predicted to take place over a time period of almost 40 years, so they will mostly impact the next rather than the current generation of cocoa trees and farmers. In other words, there is time for adaptation."

While that begs the question of what global warming means for the future of food production, it looks like there may be hope for the future of the chocolate industry.

Speaking of chocolate, if you now find yourself with an irresistible craving, here are three chocolate recipes to whip up with only three ingredients or less.

1. 3-Ingredient Easy Chocolate Mousse

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Creations by Cara

This 3-Ingredient Easy Chocolate Mousse will satisfy your craving in the creamiest way. Melt a heaping of chocolate chips in the microwave. Next, beat whipping cream until peaks begin to form. Beat in vanilla and and chocolate chips. Once it sets in the fridge, you're ready for chocolate heaven!

If you're looking to make this dairy-free, try full-fat coconut milk.

Get the recipe here.

2. Super Easy 3-Ingredient Chocolate Cake

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The Big Man's World

Craving chocolate cake without the fuss? Try this paleo, gluten-free Super Easy 3-Ingredient Chocolate Cake. Taking only one minute of your time, banana, chocolate, and eggs are mashed together. Pop it in the microwave for a minute and you have a fluffy, chocolate cake.

Get the recipe here.

3. Chocolate Covered Almonds

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Veggie Balance

If you're looking for a quick chocolate fix, then Chocolate Covered Almonds are the way to go. Protein packed with the right hint of sweetness, all you need is three simply ingredients for this delightful treat.

Start by melting chocolate in the microwave. Next, dip the almonds in, shaking off excess chocolate, then place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, let the chocolate cool, and your ready for a chocolatey treat.

Get the recipe here.

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