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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chocolate: Tastier than blood diamonds and even more rare.

Here's a nice informative post. Its not to protest slave labor and the terrible abuses that the people of West Africa suffer in order for you to dig into that candy bar you love to eat. Its not even about how horrible the world can be just to make you the smallest amount of happy half a world away.
No, this post is actually about how that candy bar youre about to bite into.. probably isnt made of real chocolate at all.

First, a brief history and explanation of chocolate. The majority of plantations of the Cocoa bean aren't in Oompa Loompa land being tended by adorable midget - they are in West Africa being tended by starving slave children. There is always the Fair trade" route.. but how many times in your life did you think tthat taking slavery out of the equation wouldnt fix something? Try it now.

"In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won't be able to afford it." -John Mason, executive director and founder of the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Council.


So we took slavery out of the equation and the demand for chocolate is higher every day. Its full of antioxidants to help you live forever? It eases those feminine cravings. Its been grown for thousands of year and is pretty much a human stable, right? Doesn't matter when good ol' Captain Consumerism comes into play!
It doesnt sell for a huge prices and it costs a lot of time and labor to replant each tree each harvest, and then takes 5 years to harvest - so its not worth it. Big companies wanna make a shoe for .10 cents and sell it for $50. The bigger the profit margin the longer that product will last in the world economy. Unfortunately chocolate just isn't cutting it - so as big companies buy out the little ones then find a product they can make even MORE money producing they throw out their cocoa plants. Wheres Willy Wonka when you need him?
Even if Willy came to save the day his farms would have to be within 10 degrees of the equator, famous for being the most politically unstable areas of the world. Cocoa is so picky!

Now lets get down to the (Nacho Librea impression/Mexican accent) Neeety Greeety. Next time you get a Hershey's product check out the label and then the ingredients. The label may not say "milk chocolate" anymore.. it probably says "Chocolate candy." Look for "cocoa" int he ingredients.. look hard. candy such as Whatchamacallit, Milk Duds, Mr. Goodbar and Krackel no longer have the milk chocolate coatings.

Cocoa butter the ingredient famous for giving chocolate its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture has been replaced with vegetable oil. This was the part of milk chocolate that gave you that feel good afterthought, too. This is the part of the chocolate packed full of anti-oxidants. It is also the part of the the candy that kept your cholesterol from going up.

"Chocolate consumption is increasing faster than cocoa production – and it's not sustainable," Tony Lass, chairman of the Cocoa Research Association.

If you want chocolate int he future better start growing it yourself =)

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.. heres an article to curb your craving for chocolate: - 5-bitter-truths-about-chocolate

Want some real chocolate still? Stock up, but try this chocolate and keep it green! - Endangered Species Chocolate.
(Coming soon, a review on this brand of chocolate!)

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