1st December, 2005
The good, bad, and ugly sides of chocolate addiction.
Eat a bar of chocolate and chances are you will soon be awash with some kind of guilt. If you are health conscious you will be fretting about calories, fat, pimples and pesticides. If you are socially and ecologically aware there will be the added concern about the swathes of irreplaceable tropical forest that were cleared to grow the cocoa beans that went into your favourite sinful treat. You will also worry about whether the cocoa pods were harvested by young children sold into slavery by their impoverished families and often starved and beaten by cruel plantation owners, and whether those fertilisers and biocides used on cocoa plants have harmed its growers and the surrounding environment.
You will also be acutely aware that into even the most ecologically sound lives a little paradox must fall. You may be committed to eating locally grown food, but there are nevertheless a few commodities that most of us now use daily – coffee, tea, spices and of course chocolate – that are only grown in a few specific, even remote parts of the world. Most of us could do without these items, but the reality is that few are prepared to. So, for the 5-10 per cent of your diet that isn’t of local origin, it’s...
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