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Central America's Cacao Crisis06:43Download

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With guest host Jane Clayson

A disease called frosty pod rot is affecting the cacao industry in Central America. We look at the battle to save chocolate.

In this April 16, 2015 photo, a worker holds a handful of dry cacao beans ready to sell at the Agropampatar chocolate farm Co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. (Fernando Llano/AP)
In this April 16, 2015 photo, a worker holds a handful of dry cacao beans ready to sell at the Agropampatar chocolate farm Co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. (Fernando Llano/AP)

Guest

Myles Karp, journalist covering food, science and culture.

From The Reading List

The New York Times: A Battle to Save the World’s Favorite Treat: Chocolate— "Like many other crops, cacao is under constant threat from diseases and environmental challenges exacerbated by our tendency to grow only a few varieties with similar or identical genetic traits and defects."

The Guardian: Chips, Chocolate And Coffee – Our Food Crops Face Mass Extinction Too — "Take some consumer favourites: chips, chocolate and coffee. Up to 22% of wild potato species are predicted to become extinct by 2055 due to climate change. In Ghana and Ivory Coast, where the raw ingredient for 70% of our chocolate is grown, cacao trees will not be able to survive as temperatures rise by two degrees over the next 40 years. Coffee yields in Tanzania have dropped 50% since 1960."

This segment aired on October 5, 2017.

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