The Less Than Sexy Side of Chocolate

Antoine Moore
Antoine Moore is a small business owner that provides Designer Handbags via Foxywears. He loves to share the lessons He's learned on blogs for entrepreneurs.
Antoine Moore
Antoine Moore

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Antoine Moore
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Let’s face it – practically everyone loves chocolate. And even though we want to eat healthy, local and homegrown, there are just not a lot of cocoa bean plants growing successfully in the United States. That means that when our sweet tooth is craving chocolate, we turn to decadent chocolate that started out being grown predominantly in South America and Africa. However, as concerned consumers, it makes sense to give some thought to how those cocoa beans are harvested and processed.

Your Chocolate Was Likely Harvested by Children

chocolate candyThe Ivory Coast of Africa is the largest cocoa bean producing region in the world. However, it is also one of the biggest offenders when it comes to child labor. There are as many as 200,000 children working the cocoa bean fields in the area and a significant portion of them may even be human trafficking victims – forced slave labor. When we buy a chocolate bar without giving a thought to where it came from, who was involved in the harvest and production, and the working conditions those individuals have to endure, we are unwittingly enabling those who opt to use child labor.

While not all work done by children is considered child labor, when a child works in dangerous conditions it is most definitely child labor. Cocoa harvesting involves danger. Using a machete for harvesting is one of the tasks children do that is developmentally inappropriate for most of them. They also have to mix and apply chemical pesticides without proper protective

clothing, as well as carry excessively heavy loads that can cause physical injuries. Such conditions mean that not only is their schooling disrupted for work, their physical well-being is at risk.

The Right Chocolate Protects Children

By choosing Fair Trade chocolate, you are opting to purchase chocolate that has not been harvested by children. Fair Trade farmers must meet exacting standards that include fair wages and safe working conditions. While chocolate that meets this standard is slightly more expensive than regular chocolate, it comes with the reassurance that you are supporting a grower that cares about children and doesn’t exploit them on his farm.

Learn More About Chocolate and Slave Labor

While this may be the first time you have heard about the slave labor aspect of chocolate, there is much information out there about it. A simple online search for phrases like “children in cocoa production” will give you a wide array of websites where you can find more detailed information. “The Dark Side of Chocolate”, a documentary about the subject that was made in 2010 can be watched online.

In your quest to be healthy, take a moment and think about how the things you choose impact the health and even safety of those involved in the production of such food. Whenever you can, choose Fair Trade chocolate for a treat you know is ethically sound. Even if your local stores don’t carry such choices, there are many online retailers that can feed your socially responsible chocolate needs for Valentine’s Day, Easter and every other occasion all year long.

 

Comments


  1. Twitter:
    Hello Antione,

    I sincerly appreciate the way you think. If for every act we actually engage in, we think as deep as you encouraged, believe me, evil would be ten times lesser.

    You may ask: ‘How do I know?’ It’s pretty easy – with no patronage, the perpetrators of such evil either abandon it completely or change to more (and better) legitimate methods.

    The grand question is: how often do we think in such a manner especially in a consumption crazy world?

    Always,
    Terungwa
    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..VALENTINE, LOVE AND STUPIDITYMy Profile

  2. Hi Antoine,
    Unfortunately I read this while I was eating chocolate, go figure it’s Valentine’s Day. But I’d like to say that this was a very informative post. I had no idea that the creation of chocolate relied on the foundation of child labor. I will make sure to watch the documentary you suggested and think twice about buying Fair trade chocolate.
    Thanks again for the info.
    Ann-Elizabeth recently posted..8 surprising gluten-containing foodsMy Profile


  3. Twitter:
    Hi Antione,
    That is how capitalists extract cheap labor from developing countries.
    I appreciate your thinking and we people should rethink for our food, dress (how they are produced).
    Shoukot recently posted..Top High Paying & Reliable Adsense AlternativesMy Profile


  4. Twitter:
    Thank you, I feel it great to know, the dark side of that very sweet chocolaty treat. I promise this wasn’t wrote out of bitterness, yet it is unfortunate that it was posted on the Chocolate holiday in America… lol


  5. Twitter:
    I never really thought about it like this before. I will definitely look into what chocolate I buy from now on. I need to do my research.
    Tanya recently posted..Keys to Attracting Top TalentMy Profile


  6. Twitter:
    hahaha
    Awesome man. This is some amazing piece of information. Thanks for sharing this info with us.

    Thanks & Regards


  7. Twitter:
    Oh… I didn’t knew how cocoa is harvested, that’s said, I like chocolate, I eat pretty often, mom send me from SPAIN “MILK” is called, biggest chocolate I’ve ever seen with big peanuts mmmm…
    I. C. Daniel recently posted..ClixSense.com – Established Pay to Click Program since 2007My Profile

  8. This information is really appreciated. I never thought about the chocolate I buy. I do want the world to be a better place and try not to do things to the contrary. Being an informed shopper is part of that. Hershey’s say the will become Fair Trade by 2020. I’ll look for a brand the is Fair Trade now. Thank you so much for this information. People like you make a difference.

  9. I just looked it up. Cannot find any information related to the degree to which Americas largest candy manufacturers are tied to the Ivory Coast child labor industry. Ideas? Perhaps a follow-up article. I have not yet watched the documentary. Also, not just the US, but other manufacturers throughout Europe such as NESTLE. Surprising and sad though.

  10. Never knew that. Thanks for highlighting this because I think more of us need to know how our food (not just chocolate) is made.

    By the way, how do we know whether the chocolate we buy is Fair Trade chocolate or not? Is there information on the label or do we need to note down the relevant companies before we shop for chocolate?
    Mike recently posted..Top 5 Best Selling Juicers 2014My Profile

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