Your Chocolate Priestess has this small daily calendar of chocolate (Chocolate: 2011 Mini Day-to-Day Calendar) that has some quote or piece of information related to chocolate every Monday through Friday. For some reason 2011's version has nothing on the weekends though the 2010 version of this calendar did. Today's chocolate bit was "Chocophobia: the totally logical fear that the world will run out of chocolate." I wanted to look more closely at this idea, Sisters and Brothers.
First we'll tackle the personal fears. Knowing that something might harm your health either because of allergies or because you have low willpower when it comes to chocolate makes sense. However unlike tree nuts or peanuts whose oils are often used without much warning and certainly unlike gluten that can hide in everything, chocolate is generally part of the selling points for a food or drink. That means you should know just from the title if something has chocolate. You can always check the labels. Being afraid seems a bit extreme in either case. How about you be wary? I know people with dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, even gluten allergies and they are not afraid so much as aware of what they eat. Being afraid would only sap their enjoyment of those things in life they can eat or drink.
Being afraid that chocolate is going to undermine your diet is a bit extreme, too. Let me be blunt: Too many calories is what causes weight gain not the specific form those calories take. I've known vegetarians and vegans with weight problems, I've known people who snarf down tons of fats and sugars without weight problems. The difference is in the amount consumed versus the amount burned off. So chocolate may seem like your Achilles Heel but in reality it could be anything. Plus as we've discovered on our journey together here, Sisters and Brothers, higher quality chocolate sates us much sooner than the cheap stuff. So if you fear chocolate because of your weight, try high quality stuff in small quantities. You'll sate your desire and control your calorie intact.
Now let's get back to the issue of the world running out of chocolate. Seems weird, huh? I mean, cacao comes from a tree, a plant, that means it grows over and over again after harvest. Never forget that where these trees can grow, especially where they can thrive, is very limited. It can only grow within the 10 degree band, north and south, around the Equator. Not only that but the pH balance of the soil is important and as with all soil chemistry agriculture will change that balance over time. Let's not forget the deforestation is affecting the planet's climate which means that this band around the Equator could expand or contract. We simply do not know what will happen.
While humans have succeeded in planting cocoa trees in many areas in this equatorial band, the soil and the methods of farming affect the flavor of the cacao which in terms affects the flavor of you cocoa and chocolate. Try some single origin products and you'll see what I mean, Sisters and Brothers. Will we run out of chocolate? We can't say until the decades or perhaps centuries pass but we do know for certain that as desire for chocolate increases the prices rise. It may be that for most of us it won't be a matter of there not being chocolate but a matter of it being expensive just like it used to be more than a century ago.
Chocolate Mini Calendar 2011 that I've bought from this publisher. I really preferred last year's version with information for the weekend not merely a drawing. Looks like there will be a version for 2012 but unless I see it on sale somewhere, I don't think I'll order it. I used to be able to just find it in or local Borders but our bookstore closed down this winter.