Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Kind of *Person* Are You?

I've been told that being "chocolate indifferent" can make a person's integrity suspect. (See post below about chocolate genes). By reader request, I've set up a poll (look over to the right in the sidebar) to suss out just how many of us are "chocolate desiring" and, um, Other.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Seeing as how the chocolate market is a commodity market and that over 40% of all cocoa beans are produced in countries that have documented child slavery issues in their farms, meaning that all commodity chocolate (any chocolate and cocoa that you buy that isn't specifically marked as certified by a fair trade organization) is thus tainted by child slavery; I would say that anyone who is "chocolate desiring" is a little bit suspect.

You don't have to take my word for it.

Look up child slavery and chocolate in any search engine and wikipedia. You will find more than you probably want to know.

While the Chocolate Manufacturers Association created a program to "monitor" the situation, no real change has occurred. It was a PR move, backed by Bob Dole in a lobbiest role for the CMA, to stifle calls for "slavery free" labeling on chocolate and cocoa products in the US. It worked to stem that action, but no change has happened with regards to child slavery and chocolate production.

Recently The Age, an Australian paper, revisited the issue. Australian is the 4th largest consumer of chocolate in the world (the US is number 1). Though the Salvation Army's anti-slavery coordinator, Danielle Strickland misspeaks, in the piece, when she is quoted as saying that there is a 43 percent chance that chocolate contains beans harvested under child slavery.

Because of the way commodity markets work, all the chocolate beans are mixed together at production. So, there is actually a 100% chance that some cocoa beans in ALL commodity chocolate were produced under child slavery.


Whose integrity is suspect if people continue eating chocolate after knowing this information?

I will tell you from experience. Nearly 100%.

Everyone that my wife and I have told, says that they could never give up chocolate even with this knowledge. It is just too good they say.

We gave up chocolate after reading the Knight Ridder story that initially sparked calls for "slavery free" labeling. I know of a handful of people (3 or 4 maximum) that decided to give up chocolate at that point. That's 3 or 4 out of the hundreds of people who have asked us why we don't eat chocolate in the past 7 years.

3 or 4.

Everyone else that we know -family, friends, and co-workers - continue to buy and consume it.

The other thing we noticed after giving it up was that chocolate is the lazy man's confectionery. It is in EVERYTHING from most ice-creams, to the majority of candies, to virtually every dessert at many restaurants. We have found other desserts that we like much better and you can tell when someone is good when they don't just throw in chocolate because it is expected.

When we ask the waitresses if they have any desserts without chocolate, we often get asked why anyone would want a dessert without chocolate.

We've given up on telling them.

They don't care, and it won't change their habits.