Nothing beats the sweet sensation of chocolate tantalizing your tastebuds. However, we all know the dangers of too much processed white sugar. Commercially-manufactured chocolate bars are loaded with it! But rejoice! Chocolate can be compatible with a whole-food diet and a healthy lifestyle. There are options for those of us who, unlike raving chocaholics who just can’t get enough, simply long for a taste of the sweet life. That’s where the beauty of organic chocolate comes into play. Besides the silky-smooth taste, it’s the purity of ingredients that makes all the difference.
Chocolate started out hundreds of years ago as an Aztec treat. They called it "food of the gods." It’s different from the delectable treat we know it as now, however. The Aztecs used to drink chocolate hot and bitter. Today manufacturers add everything from natural orange essence, dried Pacific raspberries, sweeteners, rich cocoa butter and milk products to the ground cacao beans, producing a multitude of flavours and textures.
Americans love chocolate. They eat just under a staggering one billion kilograms annually. That adds up to almost five kilograms of chocolate per person, per year–way too much! Dried fruit that’s been smothered in dark organic chocolate, unsweetened, can fulfill the chocolate craving without depressing your immune system with sugar.
The Politics of Chocolate
Ever wonder why you reach for chocolate when you’re down in the dumps and nothing’s going right? It’s all in the phenylethylamine, a substance that makes you happy. You produce this substance naturally when you fall in love. So bring back those loving feelings by both eating and giving chocolate. It’s the way to her heart.
Manufacturers of organic chocolate are careful to use only certified organic cacao beans, sugar cane and nut and fruit fillings. That means the cacao, for example, is grown in its indigenous rainforest habitat, without chemicals or pesticides.
Instead of using refined white sugar, many small manufacturers use organically-grown Rapadura sugar, a whole, natural and unrefined cane sugar. It contains the vitamins and minerals that are stripped out of white sugar in the processing. It’s still sugar but the body can process it without harm–as long as you don’t have candida as a chronic health condition.
Chocolate needs to be both purchased and consumed with discretion. Buy the best from small organic chocolate companies that encourage fair trade and sometimes pay more than the market price for organically-grown cacao beans. Small growers are often organized into cooperatives that ensure growers get a fair price for their hard work and value-added harvest.
Small manufacturers also donate a percentage of the profits to conservation efforts, both local and global. You can sleep soundly at night when you’re not contributing to the destruction of the rainforest and poisoning the planet and its inhabitants with your chocolate habit.
Sweeten your beloved’s stocking this Christmas with the gift of organic chocolate.