For some people, chocolate is a guilty pleasure. The supposed sin is indulgence. I think these people are mostly worried about calories, and frankly, I think most of them worry too much. Of course, there are other people who have convinced themselves that there are enough antioxidants in chocolate to qualify it as health food. To that I say: don’t eat chocolate to be healthy. Stay healthy so you can eat chocolate. However, I have some news that should legitimately worry chocolate-lovers and chocolate-deniers everywhere. There’s a worldwide chocolate shortage going on. As you might expect with issues of global proportion – it’s complicated. That’s because in today’s world there are politics (or at least controversy) attached to everything. Even this Dark Chocolate Nut Loaf.
I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you’re eating too much chocolate. Chocolate manufacturers can’t get you your fix fast enough. Prices are rising dramatically and the two largest chocolate makers, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut want you to know that if something doesn’t change, chocolate might become harder to come by in the future.
Naturally, it’s a supply and demand issue. It seems less cocoa is being produced and more and more people are eating chocolate on a worldwide level than ever before.
Americans and Europeans have been mad for chocolate for a long time. However, as the world globalizes, the consumption of chocolate is on the rise. Especially in nations like China, India, South Africa, and Vietnam that have traditionally ignored the stuff.
Adding to the demand problem is the fact that our tastes in chocolate have changed in recent decades. We’ve developed a love of dark chocolate which contains more cocoa by volume than traditional chocolate formulas. A lot more. The average chocolate bar in 1960 contained about 10% cocoa, while today’s dark chocolate bar often contains 70% or more.
Still, the global chocoholics alone can’t be blamed for the shortage. Climate change probably has something to do with it too. Especially in West Africa where more than 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is produced. There’s been a persistent drought there. This has led to decreased production.
Dark Chocolate Nut Loaf with Raisins
I’m not trying to depress you or even to convince you to eat less chocolate. In fact, my recipe for Dark Chocolate Nut Loaf proves I myself am in denial about the whole issue. It has a whopping 18 ounces of 70% dark chocolate in it. That’s more than a pound! This might mean this Dark Chocolate Nut Loaf alone is responsible for the worldwide chocolate shortage. Yikes. GREG