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How does chocolate affect us? Is there an alternative to mainstream chocolate brands?

Maybe the only regret you feel when you have chocolate is when you look at the bathroom scale. But, it turns out that there are more reasons why chocolate can embarrass us beyond calories. Read on to learn more about how your chocolate is produced, and how can you be part of the change.

Chocolate is as precious as gold or silk. Status and all other things matter. There's more expensive chocolate than some of the best fine wines and tons of cheap chocolate.

But what chocolate offers us is an intense pleasure, shared by most of us in society.

Chocolate is as precious as gold or silk

Chocolate is in demand everywhere. You can find chocolate at 10 dollars per kilo or 5,000 dollars per kilo like Madeline Au Truffle's chocolates for example.

How can you be a responsible chocolate consumer

In the chocolate industry, we find both good and bad practices. But the latter abound and the former hardly ever happen.

So what actually happens? The chocolate industry takes its raw material from African and Latin American countries mainly. Ghana, Colombia, Dominican Republic. Sometimes with weak governmental controls and law enforcement, these practices can go the wrong way.

Child labor

70 out of every 100 kilos of cocoa are produced in Africa,  Ghana, and Ivory Coast being the main sources.

There are reports from global organizations that account for  2 million children working in both countries. In order to have such low cocoa prices that excite the big brands of chocolate manufacturers, the farmers employ thousands of children who barely get any food or pay that goes to their families.

There have been cases of 5-year-olds on cocoa plantations

Environmental degradation

Cocoa plantations occupy thousands of hectares. In small countries like Ghana alone, there are 2 million hectares.

The exploitation of the land is massive and brings soil erosion, water pollution from the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and tons of waste such as chemical containers, plant waste, material...

How can you be a responsible chocolate consumer

So, what is the alternative?

Several brands are trying to make a commitment to better monitor their production chain and change local conditions so that there is no child labor.

You can also choose to buy "fair trade" chocolate. Fairtrade is a UK-based organization that strives to achieve better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

Their products are easily spotted. Just look for their logo on the chocolate pack, you will be making a safe purchase!

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