Happy Fair Trade Chocolate Valentine’s Day
Fair trade chocolate helps farmers escape poverty
We’ve heard about chocolate’s health benefits, but – only 1 cent from a typical candy bar goes to the farmer.
Valentine’s Day is indelibly associated with chocolate. The desire for chocolate is even stronger because of all the reporting of chocolate’s remarkable health benefits. But are we being deceived? Typical processed chocolate products have few of the health benefits that have been attributed to chocolate in the scientific research.
Why? First of all the study that spurred many of the health claims forf chocolate was conducted on only 23 subjects and funded by the American Cocoa Research Institute (according to NaturalNews). It stated that cocoa and chocolate, when added to a healthy diet, provided antioxidant benefits.
Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are much better sources of antioxidants, and also contain many other healthful nutrients. And unlike chocolate, they won’t increase your waistline with extra calories from sugar and fat.
Second, most chocolate products have had the bitter alkaloids removed and are blended with refined sugars and unhealthy fats to mask the natural bitter taste. The result is a diabetes-inducing, fat-expanding product with no real health benefits.
Another issue to consider when purchasing chocolate is fair trade chocolate. Why is it important? According to Fairtrade International, only one penny from a typical candy bar goes to the farmer who grows the cacao beans. Purchasing Fair trade chocolate is one way to help farmers get out of poverty by maintaining a stable income.
Farmers who are able to sell to fair trade chocolate companies are encouraged and/or required to use environmentally-sensitive cultivation methods, such as not clearing virgin forests or other ecosystems of high value, and not using or handling pesticides and fertilizers. They are also prohibited from employing children (one of the biggest abuses in the industry), and having unfair working conditions.
Here are some healthy chocolate products from Fair Trade companies as recommended by NaturalNews:
Transition Nutrition – outstanding chocolate brittles
Empowered Chocolate – “empowered” chocolate products containing superfood ingredients, including goji berries, mesquite and others.
Sacred Chocolate – blessed with prayer and positive intention. The ingredients are sustainable, nutritious and delicious! It uses the whole bean, including the skin.
WildBar – wild chocolate bar, rich in microalgae superfoods.
SunFood Nutrition – various chocolate superfood products based on raw cacao.
For a delicious homemade valentine’s day treat, try Savvy Vegetarian’s delicious vegan chocolate cake – made with Fairtrade chocolate, of course!
Have a Happy Healthy Fair Trade Valentine’s Day!