You might know it from such successful foods as cookies, brownies, and candy bars. It's chocolate, and it might be going away for a while. According to cacao giants Mars and Barry Callebaut, global demand for chocolate is likely to exceed production by 1 million metric tons by 2020, which will coincidentally also be how sharp our hindsight is that year.
Chocolate, beloved as it is by the world, has slowly been replaced in some agricultural areas by cheaper crops like corn and rubber (the latter of which you can't even eat), according to Bloomberg, and was strongly affected by several droughts and blights that have thinned out the number of growers. Add to that the fact that much of the world is just discovering how amazing chocolate is and demanding tons of it, and you've got a recipe for... well, certainly not brownies.
Fortunately, scientists and farmers are working together to forestall this tragedy by developing new breeds of disease-resistant chocolate. They're not quite up to par with regular chocolate in taste, but, well, we need more and more scientists to figure this one out. Stay in school!
Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and has already started stockpiling cocoa powder, the currency of the future. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.