Do you remember the first time you ate a piece of chocolate? I, for one, most certainly cannot. Who on earth could remember such a thing as that? I like to think that chocolate has no beginning and no end in my life. It just is. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m harbouring an addiction for it. Oh no, I shouldn’t have mentioned the word harbour. It just made me think about a big chocolate boat moored in a beautiful chocolate port on a fabulous chocolately day. Case in point. Anyway, a few days ago, I came home from college. I was in terrible mood. The train had taken hours. There had been nobody to talk to on the train. It was cold and raining. I was starving and still recovering from a Mystery Tour(Another story altogether). To make matters worse, Mum hadn’t put the dinner on. (No hate intended, shout out to the mothership). FML, I know right? But never fear, I knew exactly what to do. I knew exactly where the Malteasers were. My problems were solved. Alas, they tasted weird. I was not phased though. I am a consumer and “I know my rights”. I sent an ever-so-slightly childish email to Mars ( Fun fact: they run Malteasers, my whole life is a lie.) informing them of my misfortune. It went like this: “Malteasers are usually my favourite sweets. Today, I opened the big red bag in eager anticipation of a malty treat. Unfortunately, this was not to be. When I opened the bag there was a disgusting smell. I was simultaneously repulsed and disappointed. Needless to say, this particular bag tasted disgusting, all vinegary and gone-off. Normally I could easily eat a whole bag in ten minutes. Today was the first time in my life that I had but one Malteaser. I am terribly confused and frustrated by such a coarse display of negligence on Mr. Malteaser’s part. Here’s hoping you can make things right.” In my unhappy state of being I turned to the internet and found the wiki page on Chocolate. Interesting stuff. Did you know that markings have been found on ancient Mayan tombs suggesting that chocolate has been around since 400AD? Not only that, but there is evidence to suggest that it was once used a currency? I guess I’m not the only one with the slight obsession. J. S. Fry & Sons were the first company to produce a chocolate bar designed for mass consumption and in 1873 they made the world’s first Easter Egg. Society owes a lot to these men. I could go on. But here, I’ll get to the point. As I clicked through the pages of internet I came across something that confirmed a horrible rumour I heard a few weeks back. Chocolate is running out. Yes. Earth’s supply of cocoa beans is dwindling up to a halt. Did I just make you care about climate change and fair trade? Hope so. The deadly cocktail: the length of time it takes for a cocoa plant to produce beans (around four years), the unwillingness of cocoa farmers to invest in such a time-consuming commodity, big companies that just want to make money(we were all thinking it) and climate change( increased rainfall, insect infestations and periods of prolonged drought). Chocolate production just isn’t profitable anymore. Not in the old way. Not in the way that we like. The solution is to use some kind of chemical substitute in place of cocoa, filling the gaps with vegetable fats and more fruit, nuts and candies. I OBJECT , you think. Nobody really likes fruit and nut anyway.. bar a select few. No pun intended. But, think about the time you last had a chocolate that tasted really chocolatey. And I mean wonderfully, deliciously chocolatey. Anyone else notice that all the Dairy Milk Tray chocolates taste exactly the same nowadays? Same goes for Quality St. and Roses. Generic truffles I say. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s time we started becoming more aware of what’s going on around us. It’s time we started caring about our planet. And that means ALL the plants, not just the cocoa ones. ALL the animals, not just the cute ones. It’s time we started giving a bit more of a damn about things that we don’t really give a damn about. I am inspired by a fridge magnet: “Save the Earth. It’s the only Planet with Chocolate”.



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