Thought for the Week: Chocolate
I admit it – I’m a bit of a chocaholic, so Easter with chocolate eggs was a joy on many fronts. I felt even better about it when I found out it was good for my health too. German researchers spent 10 years studying over 19,000 people, finding that those who ate 7.5 grams of chocolate a day had lower blood pressure and a 39% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke when compared to those who ate only 1.7 grams a day. Okay, so 7.5 grams is not a lot, but that or a vitamin tablet – I know what I’d choose any day!
As good as it may be for my health – there is a big cost for me and you having this chocolate. Much of the world’s chocolate, produced in countries like Ivory Coast is harvested by child slave labour. That made me think differently about it.
Our enjoyment of chocolate, encouraged by the actual health benefits of eating it, poses a real a threat to those children enslaved by producers in West Africa to feed our cravings.
So do I need to give up eating chocolate? Not necessarily, but what we do need to do, is to think l about where our chocolate comes from. One simple step is to find some slave-free chocolate, this will help the health of my heart, help me to continue to enjoy chocolate, but also help the lives of thousands of children. But that is actually more difficult than it sounds as most of the large chocolate manufacturers can’t trace which farms their cocoa comes from so don’t know if child labour has been involved.
So maybe play safe and go for a manufacturer that knows its sources e.g Green and Black who gets theirs from Dominican Republic and Belize. Or Divine who use a fairtrade cooperative in Ghana; both companies working closely with farmers who don’t use child labour. There will be others too who do the same. Just do some checking before you buy your next bar/box – not just on its taste but on its source too!
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