It’s almost Valentine’s Day and Americans are expected to spend around seven hundred million dollars on chocolate. We consume almost three billion pounds of this sweet treat annually and we’re not alone. The world’s appetite for chocolate is increasing but the supply is under threat. Plant scientists are working to fortify the embattled cacao tree. Researchers at the USDA say we’re losing thirty to forty percent of the crops a year, due to fungal diseases, climate change and insufficient farming practices. On this month’s Environmental Outlook, Diane and her panel of experts look at what’s threatening the world’s cocoa supply.


Harold Schmitz chief science officer of Mars, Inc., co-author of “The Future of Chocolate” in the February 2012 issue of Scientific American.

Robert Peck senior director of operations of the World Cocoa Foundation

Lyndel Meinhardt Research Leader, USDA/ARS Sustainable Perennial Crops Lab


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Program Highlights

An article in February’s [Scientific American]( said the world’s cocoa supply is under threat. For this month’s Environmental Outlook and in time for Valentine’s Day, Diane and some chocolate experts look at what is happening to the cacao tree and the environmental and social factors affecting the cacao supply.

View the original segment on The Diane Rehm Show here.