I have seen the future, and like NASA, I think it's Mars. Mars is spending $10 million in a five year project with IBM and the USDA to decode the cocoa genome. Shouldn't Michael Crichton be writing something about this? (Of course, we already have Wille Wonka - there was definitely some weird science going on there.)
Seriously, this is a pretty fantastic investment. Cacao trees are tough to grow and are susceptible to disease. They can only grow in certain parts of the world. We're already lost some varieties to climate changes, over harvesting, pests. WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALL OF THEM????? The horror, the horror......
I have Michael's title..."The Day the Chocolate Died." (Once again, I am going to Candy Hell.)
Of course, if the genome is mapped, they can make more varieties, different flavors - who knows what amazing things might come out of this? This is an exciting time in the history of chocolate and we are here to see it! Strap yourselves in, chocolate lovers - we are in for one heck of a ride!
Here's a short (2 minute) video about it:
The folks at Mars are brilliant to think of the future this way - they know if something happens to those trees it would hurt their bottom line. They also know that knowledge is power and the more they know about chocolate, the better they can make their products and the more money they can make. Bravo to their vision! And for working to save chocolate. (That calls for buying lots of M & Ms and Snickers to support this important research. By eating lots of chocolate, you are actually saving chocolate. Don't do it for yourself, do it for chocolate.)
What trends should YOU see coming? Is technology going to impact your industry? Are you taking steps to prepare yourself? (Knowledge is power - are you learning, gaining new skills?) How's your health? Should you be taking steps now to improve it while you still can? Think ahead like Mars - if you don't take action now in some areas of your life, they could be much harder to deal with down the road. Don't wait until your chocolate (marriage, health, job, etc.) is extinct - work on it now! And take two M & Ms and call me in the morning.