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Start stocking up on dark chocolate, stat—a shortage may be on the way

hu-kitchen-chocolateFirst we were told that California’s drought threatened avocados and almonds. Then our beloved bananas were reportedly in trouble. Is the antioxidant-rich dark chocolate we rely on for an edible nightcap and the cacao we enjoy as a smoothie-booster next?

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, the world’s cocoa plants aren’t doing so hot. Disease and drought (thanks, El Niño!) in western Africa, a hotspot for cocoa farming, have slowed production. And prices are going up: Cocoa has jumped nearly 40 percent since the start of 2012.

With cacao’s superfood status giving all of us a good reason to enjoy some dark chocolate every day, what will we do to get our fix of our favorite magnesium-rich PMS-buster?

Don’t worry, we’re not quite on the verge of a “chocopalypse,” according to the Journal, but worldwide demand is increasing—especially in China and India—and production isn’t keeping up.

While you probably don’t need to start hoarding your favorite sweet treats just yet, keep an eye on those price tags. They’re going up. —Alison Feller 

(Photo: Mouth)

Maybe it’s time to expand your sweet-tooth repertoire—how about one of these must-try matcha desserts