The chocolate lover’s delimma

I’ve been reading the The Omnivore’s Dilemma for way too long now- it’s amazing how hard is has been to find time to read. I’ve been really enjoying it and would recommend it to everyone. It’s really gotten me thinking even more about food. I don’t agree with his chapter on animal rights- it’s a bit strange, but he has a lot of other good points.
Today I was in the bulk food store about to buy bulk Skor bars with my own bag, when I found myself wondering, “is it better to buy package free chocolate made with cocoa grown by underpaid workers in horrible conditions, grown with pesticides, and profiting a company who has done countless terrible things to people and animals; or to buy organic fair trade chocolate in a wrapper? The other problem is the organic fair trade chocolate (Green and Blacks) is owned by Nestle, who is the worst of the worst as far as morals go.
I bought the Green and Blacks but afterward, wished I had the bulk skors. The best thing to do would be to by organic (not factory organic, but the old sense of the word), fair trade local chocolate, which does exist. Chocosol is at the Wychwood farmers market and Dufferin grove and they are an amazing couple of young lads who work with families in Mexico, growing the cocoa and roasting it with solar and bicycle power. The problem is that I like their chocolate in theory but I always crave the bad stuff. It’s somehow too wholesome- not quite sweet enough. I like the samples, but when I buy a whole bar (wheel actually), it sits in my freezer as I run to the store for Skor. Perhaps I should try to buy cocoa from them and experiment with making my own.
OK so I just tried to research the wrong doings of Hershey, assuming they would be similar to NESTLE, and the first thing I found is this. If there is any truth to it, I should definitely go for the bulk SKors! I also found these articles which explain why I thought they had done wrong- they had but are trying to clean up their act. I think the best is to try and find something at Chocsol that I like or can make into something I like because I can talk directly to the owners of the company and trust that they are telling me the truth, where as I can’t be sure about a huge corporation.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The chocolate lover’s delimma

  1. There is a Canadian co-op, out of Ottawa. Cocoa Camino. They have bars of many flavours, baking chocolate, chips and sugar. It is available at our Fortinos and our health food store.
    We’ve been able to get enough friends together to buy a bulk wholesale order or chip, sugar and cocoa.
    If you are interested in learning more about the chocolate industry look for Bitter Chocolate by Carol Off. I was able to find it at my library. Great read.

  2. I like Cocoa Camino- I didn’t realize they were a co-op. I thought they were also owned by a big corporation but I’m glad to be wrong. The only thing is that it brings me back to the dilemma of packaging. I have been meaning to read “bitter chocolate” for a while now. I kind of want to and kind of don’t because I really like chocolate;(

  3. Here’s an update on Hershey’s tactic of repeatedly signing agreements to use fair trade chocolate by a due date, then doing nothing when the due date arrives. Now they are being asked to put a symbol on each bar that’s certified fair trade. We’ll see what happens. They’ll lose a fortune if they actually start paying the bean pickers.

    I’ve gotten Cocoa Camino bars in my school tuck shop. The problem is still the cost is far too high compared to the usual bars. And, like you, I don’t love them like a Hershey bar. But it’s just as well that I’m not eating so much crap! Most of the bars are just chocolate (and much of it dark instead of the kid-friendly milk choc.), and I tend to like some kind of wafer or nuts or something else in the mix. But if we keep supporting them, maybe they can come out with a wider variety of products!

  4. The Big Carrot sells bulk Cocoa Camino (fair trade organic) chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate (drops – kind of like jumbo chocolate chips) that I use in baking and fondues, etc!

  5. Really! I hadn’t noticed that. I usually get stuck in the health and beauty section and spend way too much money. That’s awesome. Thanks for the tip!

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