Chocolate: What’s Not to Love About It?

Click here for Kathleen’s Chocolate story   http://wp.me/pTTp9-1gU

My fellow writer, expat food aficionado and socially/politically/environmentally conscious advocate for responsible living has just written an important article.  I encourage you to read it.  The slave trade in Africa, a centuries old practice, endures because of the world’s love for chocolate.  Kathleen Dobek writes about the chocolate candy makers who don’t and do use fair trade practices, the regulations and compliance issues around chocolate manufacture, and what we can do to ensure that we are not supporting companies that are not adhering to ethical labor practices.

I love chocolate.  What’s not to love about it is the enslavement of children who harvest the cacao bean for some of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers.  Kathleen has researched and written a great article.  Please read it.

It raises the question for me about Oaxacan chocolate.  Where does the cacao bean and chocolate come from that goes into making that delicious, frothy morning cup of hot chocolate.  Where does the chocolate come from that is the primary ingredient for mole negro, my absolute favorite mole that covers chicken and rice?  If anyone knows the answer, do tell!

This comment just came in to me via email from Silva:  the chocolate used in Oaxaca for drinking and mole comes from the Mexican State of Tabasco.

She sent this link to the USDA web site for an explanation of terms regarding organic labeling.   http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateA&navID=NationalOrganicProgram&leftNav=NationalOrganicProgram&page=NOPUnderstandingOrganicLabeling&description=Understanding%20Organic%20Labeling&acct=nopgeninfo

She goes on to say that many people take the “USDA organic” label for granted. If you check USDA, you will find that the term means that up to 5% of the item can be chemicals and non-organic materials. This agreement was made by
pressure from Monsanto, Dole, etc. Many so called USDA organic items at the grocery store are NOT organic, but 95% organic. They can be identical to non-organic products, just cost more money – great profits for companies like Dole.  The only items that are organic are those that say “USDA 100%
organic”. I have never seen that label in a store.  Just worth keeping in mind when using that term…

One Response to Chocolate: What’s Not to Love About It?

  1. Norma,

    Thank you so much for helping spread awareness about slavery and chocolate. This is a hard subject to read about because who wants to know that such a favorite food has such a dark, horrendous side to it. But if we each accept the responsibility of being informed consumers, this is information we need to know.

    I’m glad to learn that Oaxacan chocolate comes from Tabasco. Perhaps the raw cocoa beans I buy in our local seed and bean store are from Tabasco, as well. I will have to ask.

    Kathleen

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