GOOD

Scientists Quarantining Cocoa to Save the Future of Chocolate

A new center in England is hoping to offset an impending global shortage of cocoa.

Image via the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Flickr page.

Panic was widespread when doomsayers predicted global cocoa shortages by 2020 due to increasing demand, pest infestation, and the spread of plant disease. In response to these factors, the cost of the cocoa bean has rapidly increased—compelling Hershey’s to raise prices by eight percent and Mars by seven percent, possibly portending end-of-times for the candy industry. But you can stop hoarding your chocolate bars and cocoa powder: Scientists have a plan to protect the world’s cocoa supply.


Researchers at the University of Reading just opened a £1 million facility to protect and preserve over 400 different varieties of the cocoa plant. The International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC) will be responsible for collecting new cocoa seeds and facilitating research into breeding plant varieties that will be more resistant to sickness. In their greenhouse, they will be quarantining the seeds from all new diseases and pests, and growing healthier, more reliable plants in a hydroponic growing system.

"We use up a lot of energy keeping the cocoa plants in tropical conditions, and we can do that much more efficiently in this new facility," Professor Paul Hadley, the cocoa project coordinator, told the BBC.

The plants will apparently be quarantined for up to two years before they’re shipped back to the farms that harvest them in West Africa, South and Central America, and other parts of the world

Articles
via

Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading
Business