Easter, Valentines, Mother's Day, Friday, even Monday........... are some of those times in the year we binge chocolate, but like coffee, chocolate is one of those things that connects the heart of the end users to the person/s who made them possible, in ways that it is very important to imagine.
NO ONE SHOULD STAND BETWEEN YOU AND CHOCOLATE, SO WE ARE GOING TO KEEP THIS SHORT AND TO THE POINT. THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS, PLANETARILY, WITH CHOCOLATE ARE 'FAIR TRADE' AND 'NO PALM OIL'.
The ethical issues surrounding chocolate always come into view during high production times like Easter. The facts of Cocoa beans are that most are grown in developing countries. Because the beans in high demand around the world, they often come from poor farmers who sometimes use child labour and or underpaid workers to harvest the beans.
To avoid supporting the slave, a starving farmer or low paid labour industry, simply check that the chocolate you are buying is Fair Trade'. You will find that there are heaps of options if you are buying something already packaged, there are plenty of Certified Fair Trade chocolates on the market. The cocoa beans used to make fair trade chocolates are purchased from farmers who are paid a fair price and can afford to properly employ and pay staff. Look out for the Fair Trade Logo on produce.
Palm Oil is a high controversial ingredient in much of our processed food and body products. The biggest impact of unsustainable palm oil production is the large-scale devastation of tropical forests. As well as widespread habitat loss for endangered species of orangutans and tigers.
There are a number of chocolates sold in supermarkets that are Palm Oil free, but it does take a little dectective work. We have listed a few here and over the last couple of years, Darrel Lea has transitioned to Palm Oil free.
If you are investigating your options in the ekko.world shop, there are also many vegan, no palm oil and self certified no exploitation. Just look for the relevant No Exploitation icon on the product.
There are literally hundreds of incredible chocolatiers and raw food makers from whom you can buy unique, organic, raw fair trade or local chocolates. So your choices are far far greater than boring old supermarket chocolate.
Food Coach, Judy Davie says that for health, the best option is to choose dark chocolate that is at least 70 per cocoa instead of milk and white chocolates, which have more fat and sugar in them. Chocolates that are rich in cocoa or cacao have far less sugar and additives and actually have some health benefits.
Cacao is made from cocoa beans but is not heated above 40 degrees like cocoa powder is, and therefore retains its high levels of magnesium and flavonoids that release antioxidants. Cocoa powder is heated, lowering the health benefits. However, it still consists of antioxidants and minerals, so the higher the ratio of cocoa in the egg, the better.
Of course, you can choose to give or get hugs and kisses instead of chocolate or a gift. Whatever you do, make sure you wrap it in a reusable container or bag!