The Truth about Chocolate

by Saar
(Canada/Asia)

When I announced I’d be running a workshop called ‘The truth about chocolate’ and added that there would be raw treats provided, I don’t think anybody really expected me to show what I was about to share with them.

After starting our time together talking about our favourite kinds of chocolate – varying between brownies, Snickers and Norwegian milk chocolate – I asked if anybody knew where their chocolate really originates from. Nobody had a clear answer to this question.

The Dark side of Chocolate
I knew I was probably about to make everybody look at their favourite chocolate in a whole different way, but – as we don’t know what we don’t know - really wanted to share a documentary. ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’ – which can be watched for free over at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vfbv6hNeng – might leave a bit of a bitter aftertaste in your mouth, but is a strong eye-opener to the world's largest producer of cocoa, the West African country of Ivory Coast. It follows Danish journalist Miki Mistrati’s investigation of the rumours about child labour and the trafficking of children in the chocolate industry. Be prepared to clean out your stash after watching!

What should I look for when buying chocolate?
- Choose a bar that lists chocolate, or chocolate liquor, cocoa or cacao as the first ingredient.
- A quality ratio is a 60 to 70 percent cocoa mass with the remaining 30 to 40 percent containing no oils other than natural cocoa butter, as well as no preservatives and no artificial flavourings.
- Find chocolate made from the least destructive processing techniques — Organic is always best as over-processing reduces your healthy nutrients and can introduce lead contamination.
- Restrict your intake to dark, organic chocolate — Consuming chocolate as close to its original raw state (unprocessed cacao) provides you the best health benefits.
- Avoid chocolate made from milk or milk byproducts — Adding milk to the chocolate process can diminish your antioxidant benefits.
- Select chocolate with low sugar content — Sugar can seriously impact your immune system.
- Consume chocolate in moderation — When you eat too much chocolate, you potentially diminish and defeat any health benefits due to the sugar content.
- Avoid chocolate if you’re struggling with a health challenge — Sugar can suppress your immune system.
- Choose a chocolate made to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility — Fair Trade certification should be part of your selection process.

For more information, visit http://thedarksideofchocolate.org/

You might want to change some eating habits after watching this documentary, but I promise there is plenty of honest, slave-free goodness to be found out there! Now tell me, what is your favourite kind of chocolate? Where do you buy it? Do you know where it comes from?

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