Organic fair trade chocolate is good for you, the environment and the third world too! How many more reasons do you need to eat it?
What is organic chocolate? Does it taste better? Does organic in the name mean it’s Fair Trade chocolate? Here we’re hoping to answer some of your questions and help you enjoy your chocolate more.
First of all, here’s some good news for chocolate lovers: good quality chocolate with a high cocoa percentage has fewer calories than an ordinary run-of-the mill chocolate bar that you might find in your local newsagent’s. It can be up to 90% fewer calories!
And organic chocolate, by its nature, tends to be better quality than mass-produced. But that doesn’t mean that all good quality chocolate is organic. To be labelled organic, chocolate – or any foodstuff – has to comply with a strict set of standards. Look out for the symbol of the Soil Association on organic products.
How it is Good For The Environment
Organic farmers are conscious of the fragile balance between health and the food we eat as well between food and the environment in which it is grown. The use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides is highly restricted, with the emphasis being on growing good food from a healthy balanced soil created by traditional crop rotation techniques instead.
Organic chocolate is made from cocoa beans which have not been heavily sprayed and contaminated by pesticides. The cocoa is grown using sustainable methods in a biodiverse ecosystem that itself helps prevent disease.
And organic chocolate will never be made from genetically-modified (GM) cocoa beans!
Why it is Good For You
More good news for chocoholics: research has shown that, in moderation, chocolate is good for your mood and your health. It can protect against heart disease, help lower blood pressure and lift your depression. As long as you eat the high cocoa content variety.
A typical milk chocolate bar on sale today will contain 20% cocoa; the rest will be made up from sugar, vegetable fat and powdered milk. A good quality organic dark chocolate bar will contain cocoa butter as well as typically 70% cocoa. You can begin to see why it has fewer calories!
So organic chocolate can be good for you, good for the environment and now it can be good for the third world too.
Its Good for Others Too
By buying organic chocolate that bears the Fair Trade mark, you are helping farmers in third world countries maintain a reasonable standard of living. Fairly-traded goods are those for which a fair price is guaranteed to the producer. That doesn’t sound a very radical idea, does it? But many of the best-known and largest brand names in the world don’t pay a fair price for their raw materials or to their workers. The Fair Trade organisation was set up to counteract this. So look for the Fair Trade mark when you’re buying organic chocolate.
Where to Buy Organic Chocolate
Just about anywhere that stocks chocolate! Gone are the days when organic chocolate could only be bought from specialist shops. Today bars of Green & Black’s, one of the most famous organic food brand names, can be found even in motorway service stations.
In large supermarkets you’re likely to find a large selection of organic chocolate from different makers in many flavours. You may even find some of the more unusual tastes such as cayenne or chilli flavoured chocolate.
For more specialist tastes or boxes of organic truffles, a simple search on the internet will come up of plenty of suppliers, or call into your local high class grocery shop or delicatessen. If you want to try before you buy, visit a specialist chocolatier.
And now there’s no excuse for not enjoying chocolate!