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-   -   Theoretical shortage in chocolate causing large scale riot (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=195771)

Darth Avlectus 02-14-2009 04:05 AM

Theoretical shortage in chocolate causing large scale riot
 
I suppose the timing of this couldn't be more appropriate...or ridiculous...still trying to figure that one out... (and I think I'll figure that one out when this thread is out)

I just watched a documentary (courtesy the history channel --history.com) on the cocoa plants and all the stuff we have come to depend upon at large, if not entirely altogether, for that beloved sweet thing we call chocolate.
At one section it was recalled how 75% of crops were at one point destroyed due to some disease/fungus. This was early on in chocolate production, and it caused a stir. Back then, it was a commodity fiercely and viciously guarded and/or fought for. Nowadays with consumption of cocoa as high as it has ever been (and climbing as we speak) I found it mind boggling if we were to have such a similar shortage in cocoa supply today on today's scale and in today's numbers.

I believe such a shortage (losing 3/4 of our cocoa crops) would be disastrous. Such a thing as chocolate is so integrated and utterly consumed in modern society, that I think people would go off the deep end. I think this is potentially serious enough to consider for real because:
1) People love chocolate
2) People are addicted to sweets far more than any drugs, alcohol, etc.
(something on the order of approaching that of Aztec tales of consumption); not the least of which is chocolate
3) the extremes of withdrawal from said addiction could go from mild to extreme--as in literally killing for a candy bar.

While it may be short lived, and over time taper off/die down, I still see an undeniable potential for an out-lash in this theoretical situation.

What do you think, and why? Discuss.

(EDIT: ANY economic speak is also welcome!!!)

Sabretooth 02-14-2009 08:17 AM

Nineteen-Choco-Four

Written by George Orwell, Edited by Sabretooth

Quote:

Originally Posted by George Orwell
Bad news coming, thought Winston. And sure enough, following on a gory description of the annihilation of a Eurasian army, with stupendous figures of killed and prisoners, came the announcement that, as from next week, the chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty ... The telescreen -- perhaps to celebrate the victory, perhaps to drown the memory of the lost chocolate -- crashed into 'Oceania, 'tis for thee'.

Quote:

Originally Posted by George Orwell
It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately, with a furious desire to track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone who should suggest that last week the ration had been thirty grammes. Syme, too-in some more complex way, involving doublethink, Syme swallowed it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by George Orwell
Then, as though touching her waist had reminded her of something, she felt in the pocket of her overalls and produced a small slab of chocolate. She broke it in half and gave one of the pieces to Winston. Even before he had taken it he knew by the smell that it was very unusual chocolate. It was dark and shiny, and was wrapped in silver paper. Chocolate normally was dullbrown crumbly stuff that tasted, as nearly as one could describe it, like the smoke of a rubbish fire. But at some time or another he had tasted chocolate like the piece she had given him. The first whiff of its scent had stirred up some memory which he could not pin down, but which was powerful and troubling.

'Where did you get this stuff?' he said.

'Black market,' she said indifferently.

Quote:

Originally Posted by George Orwell
One day a chocolate-ration was issued. There had been no such issue for weeks or months past. He remembered quite clearly that precious little morsel of chocolate. It was a two-ounce slab (they still talked about ounces in those days) between the three of them. It was obvious that it ought to be divided into three equal parts. Suddenly, as though he were listening to somebody else, Winston heard himself demanding in a loud booming voice that he should be given the whole piece. His mother told him not to be greedy. There was a long, nagging argument that went round and round, with shouts, whines, tears, remonstrances, bargainings. His tiny sister, clinging to her mother with both hands, exactly like a baby monkey, sat looking over her shoulder at him with large, mournful eyes. In the end his mother broke off three-quarters of the chocolate and gave it to Winston, giving the other quarter to his sister. The little girl took hold of it and looked at it dully, perhaps not knowing what it was. Winston stood watching her for a moment. Then with a sudden swift spring he had snatched the piece of chocolate out of his sister's hand and was fleeing for the door.

'Winston, Winston!' his mother called after him. 'Come back! Give your sister back her chocolate!'

He stopped, but did not come back. His mother's anxious eyes were fixed on his face. Even now he was thinking about the thing, he did not know what it was that was on the point of happening. His sister, conscious of having been robbed of something, had set up a feeble wail. His mother drew her arm round the child and pressed its face against her breast. Something in the gesture told him that his sister was dying.

I must say it was a very succinct and stylish way to state my opinion and I must say you thought so too.

Darth Avlectus 02-15-2009 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sabretooth (Post 2588860)
[b]
I must say it was a very succinct and stylish way to state my opinion and I must say you thought so too.

Well, my my my. It HAS been some time since I have laid eyes upon his works. Nice job, indeed.


There is a comical aspect of it I suppose. After a while, though, it (the borderline insane) reactions to chocolate I have seen in my life seem to be occurring at an increased frequency.

I mean, really, how addicted to it are we?

Maybe for now I am somewhat alarmed at something trivial. Still, it would be foolish to deny that it couldn't happen would it not?

Now that I think of it, there are so many other things (food and beverage wise) that are addictive which could do the same thing upon withdrawal. So perhaps chocolate is one of many?

Arcesious 02-15-2009 05:11 PM

Well I know one guy who will definitly riot over something like this...

http://images.teamsugar.com/files/us...ie-monster.jpg


A world without chocolate chip cookies... Oh the horror! :xp:

Darth Avlectus 02-15-2009 05:25 PM

I'm trying to keep it serious for kavar's. :dozey:

Please?

Det. Bart Lasiter 02-15-2009 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity (Post 2589394)
I'm trying to keep it serious for kavar's. :dozey:

Please?

you started a thread about chocolate

EnderWiggin 02-15-2009 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmac7142 (Post 2589397)
you started a thread about chocolate

So you agree with Arc?

_EW_

Astor 02-15-2009 06:04 PM

I don't think that a shortage in Chocolate could incite mass riots. Petrol or Bread, maybe, but not Chocolate.

Why? It's not that important to most people - it's certainly a big selling product, but not addictive enough to cause rioting. Although, I don't know how important chocolate is to Americans, but it certainly wouldn't cause riots in the UK - it's more of a luxury than an essential.

It's a nice treat, but i'm not going to go and petrol bomb a corner shop 'cause they don't have any.

Adavardes 02-15-2009 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcesious (Post 2589380)
Well I know one guy who will definitly riot over something like this...

http://images.teamsugar.com/files/us...ie-monster.jpg


A world without chocolate chip cookies... Oh the horror! :xp:

Cookie monster doesn't eat cookies anymore. He was politically corrected, eats vegetables now.

On topic: No.

Q 02-15-2009 06:14 PM

You want a potential crisis? Try substituting the words "cocaine" or "opium" or even "marijuana" for the word "chocolate" in the OP.

Arcesious 02-15-2009 06:50 PM

Well, since you want me to be serious...

I don't think a chocolate shortage would be much of a big deal. There are many, many delicious foods out there.

That's too bad about the cookie monster being politically corrected...

Lucky for me, I prefer skittles over chocolate.

EnderWiggin 02-15-2009 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcesious (Post 2589422)
Lucky for me, I prefer skittles over chocolate.

There's only one thing to say...

How fruity.

_EW_

Q 02-15-2009 08:05 PM

Boo. :xp:

There are times when I prefer Starburst to chocolate (Skittles cut my mouth to ribbons).

EnderWiggin 02-15-2009 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qliveur (Post 2589456)
Boo. :xp:

There are times when I prefer Starburst to chocolate (Skittles cut my mouth to ribbons).

Just as fruity.

_EW_

Darth Avlectus 02-15-2009 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astor Kaine (Post 2589408)
I don't think that a shortage in Chocolate could incite mass riots. Petrol or Bread, maybe, but not Chocolate.

Why? It's not that important to most people - it's certainly a big selling product, but not addictive enough to cause rioting. Although, I don't know how important chocolate is to Americans, but it certainly wouldn't cause riots in the UK - it's more of a luxury than an essential.

It's a nice treat, but i'm not going to go and petrol bomb a corner shop 'cause they don't have any.

Well said.

As for America, it depends I guess. Addictions to the weirdest things do exist here. Addictions to things which I am not sure need treatments but still get them anyway. Perhaps it is over-medication then? --And chocolate could be a symptom of a larger problem?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qliveur (Post 2589411)
You want a potential crisis? Try substituting the words "cocaine" or "opium" or even "marijuana" for the word "chocolate" in the OP.

Perhaps laced chocolate in those cases then? :)

Interesting. OK, I can see where that is going. I am tempted to change it... Perhaps I add junk foods in the mix too?

Substance and alchohol addictions are considerable. Perhaps I just leave this and start another thread.

Individuals who are addicted to something, and yet worse off without their vice and will make life a living hell for everyone else...well it's a tough call whether or not to spend yourself even bothering with their rehab if those people don't care. --I faced this all the time in recent years. Still do sometimes.

Adavardes 02-15-2009 11:46 PM

I say anyone who has an addiction to chocolate or junk foods of any kind would be too out of shape and/or lazy to mount a proper riot. Maybe they'd organise to storm DC or something, but I'd guess that most of them would run out of breath before they made it a few yards.

Rev7 02-16-2009 12:53 AM

ridiculous if you ask me

the world can live without chocolate ;)

JediMaster12 02-16-2009 02:18 PM

Well let's see. Chocolate is produced only in the tropic regions and the two major production areas are Africa and Central/South America. The cocoa bean is actually housed in a pod with other beans of its kind and looked like oversized footballs. The thing is though they are adapted to grow in the rainforest like the vanilla bean and with face a serious problem of the reduction of the rainforests. Hmmm...

Chocolate may be the best thing since sliced bread and I do know that there are chocoholics out there so seriously, people who truly love chocolate would have something to say as well as the capitalist venture peopel since they vested their money in choclate. Less crop means less product and less product means less money.

mur'phon 02-16-2009 02:48 PM

Riots in the rich world?
Pfah, when the recession have only claimed one government, how many will fall to cocoa riots?

Riots in the poor countries who depend on cocoa export?
This could very well happen, on the bright side this would mean any country with surviving crops would enter the growth rocket, while hopefully those hit would diversify their economy.

Darth Avlectus 02-16-2009 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adavardes (Post 2589580)
I say anyone who has an addiction to chocolate or junk foods of any kind would be too out of shape and/or lazy to mount a proper riot. Maybe they'd organise to storm DC or something, but I'd guess that most of them would run out of breath before they made it a few yards.

Point well taken.


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