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Thread: How to choose the best chocolate for your health and for the planet?

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post How to choose the best chocolate for your health and for the planet?

    In 2015, 3 million tonnes of cocoa beans were harvested to produce chocolate, and demand has been increasing by 2 to 5% each year. The global consumption of chocolate in 2019 reached 7.7 million metric tonnes (i.e. 7.7 billion kg - approximately 1 kg for each person in the world). Cocoa is produced in the evergreen rainforests between 10ºN and 10ºS of the Equator. The largest producing countries are Ivory Coast and Ghana, which supply two thirds of the world's cocoa, followed by Indonesia, Nigeria and Cameroon. Some 15 million hectares (150,000 km² or 58,000 sq. mi.) of land are used to grow cocoa beans - 50% more land than for coffee beans. That's five times the land area of a country like Belgium or the US state of Maryland, and larger than England. And that's just plantations. If we count the towns and villages that support the 5 to 6 millions farmers working in cocoa plantations the land area used doubles. Needless to say that cocoa cultivation has a huge ecological impact.

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    How to choose the best chocolate for your health and for the planet?

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    Good article, but I didn't see anything about eating 'locally' to avoid the ecological impacts of transportation from tropical plantations. While it would be an imposition to eschew chocolate, wouldn't that be the better answer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Good article, but I didn't see anything about eating 'locally' to avoid the ecological impacts of transportation from tropical plantations. While it would be an imposition to eschew chocolate, wouldn't that be the better answer?
    I don't see how you can avoid the transportation of cocoa beans from tropical plantations unless you live in such a country. The only way to limit transportation is to buy the finished product (chocolate) locally. Maybe that's what you meant. That's also why I listed chocolate makers from as many countries as possible, so that people can find those closest to them. In any case those available in supermarkets are usually local ones.

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    What I meant, and perhaps expressed badly, was that if you want to limit ecological damage, don't eat chocolate, or any other food not available locally. Is that a hardship? Well, it's for the planet . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    What I meant, and perhaps expressed badly, was that if you want to limit ecological damage, don't eat chocolate, or any other food not available locally. Is that a hardship? Well, it's for the planet . . .
    If you go there then there is almost nothing we can purchase. Most clothes, electronics, home appliances and other consumer products are manufactured in China or somewhere else in Asia. A lot of food is imported from abroad, including soy and beef from South America which are consumed in big quantities by Americans and have a much bigger ecological impact. Chocolate is a delicacy eaten in small quantities (about 100g per person per month in average). As tropical crops go, bananas, tea and coffee are consumed in much bigger quantities. I don't think it is reasonable to expect people to stop consuming all these altogether. But if people do, it's important that they choose ethically.

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    Either the future of the planet is important or it’s not. Wouldn't you give up delicacies like coffee and tea, chocolate, and beef from foreign countries to make a difference? I also see no reason to buy clothes and appliances from China when they can be made closer to home.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Either the future of the planet is important or it’s not. Wouldn't you give up delicacies like coffee and tea, chocolate, and beef from foreign countries to make a difference? I also see no reason to buy clothes and appliances from China when they can be made closer to home.
    Don't get me wrong. I stopped eating beef altogether 20 years ago. I have never been much of a tea or coffee drinker, except when I was living in Japan and used to drink green tea regularly (but it was locally grown). Being very sensitive to caffeine, I wouldn't drink more than one cup of coffee per day, but I only drink it occasionally (mostly when I didn't sleep well). Nevertheless plenty of people can't function without several cups of tea or coffee per day. If they really can't give it up (it can be addictive) then they should absolutely consider sustainable brands of coffee.

    As for beef, people should stop eating it completely as it is bad for health and the planet, no matter where it comes from.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Besides, if people want to help the environment, they don't need to thing in terms 'all or nothing' - quite on the contrary, small things matter, changing a small habit - if this is widespread - will have a huge total impact. In many cases people are just unaware about the choices they make.

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    I'm glad to see my favourite brand, Whittaker's of New Zealand, is on your list. They are Rain Forest Alliance Certified. I recommend their 92% cocoa Ghana if you want a low sugar dark chocolate.

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    hey
    I do not see ION chocolates,
    are they or are not justified?
    the only Greek chocolate that was at war with the giants of industry.
    and uses even the same of package a chocolate from 1930's
    I know they measure their CO2 and pay the amount to Ghana
    as also ISO 14001-64 etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    hey
    I do not see ION chocolates,
    are they or are not justified?
    the only Greek chocolate that was at war with the giants of industry.
    and uses even the same of package a chocolate from 1930's
    I know they measure their CO2 and pay the amount to Ghana
    as also ISO 14001-64 etc
    I have checked their website and ION chocolate is not organic, not Fairtrade and not sustainable.

    There are a lot of brands of Belgian chocolates, but only 3 made it to the list, two of the most expensive praline makers (Neuhaus and Pierre Marcolini) and one chocolate bar maker (Newtree).

    None of the big brands qualify either. This includes Mars, Ferrero, Nestlé, Hershey, Mondelēz International (who owns Côte d'Or, Cadbury, Milka, Toblerone, Oreo, LU, etc.), Kit Kat, Lindt...

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    yup
    you are right, I bought my favorite dark exta cocoa butter today,
    it has not written neither organic neither fair trade etc

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    Glad to see my favorite Green and Blacks on there

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