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9:26 PM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Around the Bluhmin' town: Stock up now, chocolate may disappear

The world is coming to an end. It will not happen because of a crazy guy with a bad haircut in North Korea. It will not be due to climate change, global warming or extreme weather. And not due to famine, disease, drought, fire or bombs. A meteorite will not wipe us out and neither will biological warfare. But there will be riots in the streets, mass panic and all manner of suffering. It is coming in a few years, so plan now for the apocalypse, because the world is running out chocolate.

Yes, Dear Readers, there is slim hope that cocoa plants will survive the crush of drought, floods or pestilence. Soon the plants will wither and eventually die, and with it all hope of chocolate chip cookies, hot cocoa in the winter, or a Mars bar to brighten our days. No box of chocolates at Valentine’s Day. Never a slice of chocolate cake. Forget about the gooey goodness that has been with us throughout our lifetime. Farewell, my friendly chocolate covered cherry. Time is running out.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. On top of ice cream! Icing on cakes! Syrup, fudge, candy, brownies, sauces, donuts, éclairs, little bars of magic that taste so delicious and make life a little sweeter. Some things are irreplaceable. People we loved. Pets we adored. And chocolate. It is the romantic candy, the epitome of decadence, the thing that says “special,” the recipe that requires expert care, the frosting that is scrumptious, the one ingredient from our childhood that we cannot live without!

I know there are people who claim not to like chocolate. But I don’t believe them! America loves chocolate. Even China, introduced to chocolate about 40 years ago, now has 300 million folks who crave the dark, wondrous substance, and that number grows by about 50 million per year! What are we to do without it?

OK, so the “shortage” is still speculative. This is the good news. Some scientists claim the cocoa plant will not completely “die out” and we can relax. Yet, Nestles Company claims in two short years the “shortage” of chocolate will be “real and painful.” So that means we will be paying a king’s ransom to eat the stuff — the old supply and demand theory. Hey, who will spend $5 for a candy bar? (Possibly me, on certain occasions).

The only thing we can do to protect ourselves from the coming “chocolate nightmare” is to stock up now. Buy it, freeze it, store it, do whatever, to try and keep our supply while it is affordable and available. If a billion folks in China start loving it — we have a problem! Grab it now, because the word “later” is filled with heartbreak and disappointment.

My husband, Doug, points out that the much anticipated bacon and Velveeta cheese shortages were nothing more than hoaxes. Yes, but I recall a gas shortage in the 1970s and it wasn’t funny! Plan carefully, stock up and indulge. Life is better with chocolate. One kiss at a time.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.