MM – Ethical chocolate

I know everyone has strong feelings about things we should do to make our planet better. Reusable shopping bags instead of plastic, eating vegan, banishing GMOs, volunteering, protesting animal abuse, donating blood, donating time, donating money – after a while, the list becomes overwhelming (at least to me), and I end up not doing anything because the amount of choices paralyzes my brain. I’ve made the decision to take small steps to live more mindfully, starting with the most important thing in life – chocolate. *grin*

I’d already started this blog post before the Cadbury CrΓ¨me Eggs scandal exploded on the intertubes, so it seemed like the right time to think about my chocolate consumption. Because really, is there ever a wrong time to think about chocolate? And by think, I of course mean eat.

The Cadbury conundrum reminded me that hubby mentioned a while back that we should seriously reconsider purchasing anything from the Hershey company. I hit my trusty Google search to find out exactly what that would mean for our family. Here’s the list of chocolate and candy now banished from our shopping cart –

  • Hershey’s bars
  • Cadbury
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Kit Kat
  • Mounds
  • Whoppers
  • York Peppermint Pattie
  • The Heath Bar
  • Rolo
  • Milk Duds
  • Krackel
  • Bubble Yum
  • Jolly Rancher
  • Twizzlers
  • Good & Plenty

Owie. There’s a ton of favorites on this list. In an effort to take away a bit of the sting (and hello, excuse to buy more chocolate), I decided to explore the candy aisle at my grocery store. This is what I came home with –

So. Much. Yum.

To be fair, I’ve bought Endangered Species chocolate before for the youngest, who had a hankering for dark chocolate. She declared the bar was like chewing dirt, and passed it along to me. Even though I’m more of a milk chocolate gal, I really liked the ES bar, so it made sense to try their flavored varieties. I was not disappointed. Hubby was sweet enough (ha! See what I did there), to bring me a plate with squares of each bar and a small glass of milk, so I could do my taste test. This is what I discovered –

Almond Butter – The almond cream blends really well with the dark chocolate, offsetting the slight bitterness of the chocolate nicely.

Coconut – I expected a stronger coconut taste and texture, but it was similar to the almond – just enough flavor to blend well with the chocolate.

Cocoa Sea Salt & Lime – I knew it was the lime square the minute I put it in my mouth – not overpowering, but definitely more of a distinct flavor than the other two. Not necessarily better, but different.

Also, the company’s 10% GiveBack program, so feeding my chocolate cravings also help the environment.

Result – WIN!

Now for the not-so-proud moment of my story. At the store, I checked the label of the Green & Black’s Almond Bar, and didn’t see the Hershey name, so I assumed it was okay. While researching related links for my taste test, I discovered this –

In May 2005, Cadbury Schweppes (latterly Cadbury plc) bought Green & Black’s for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be around Β£20m. Cadbury pledged to run the company as a separate business. ~ Wikipedia

So Green & Black’s = Cadbury = Hershey.

Result – FAIL!

Conclusion – I really like the ES, I will ask my grocery store to carry more varieties of it, and I’m banishing the G&B from my cart. Since this is so important, especially with the sly way candy companies fool you into buying their products, I will be sure to have many, many, many more posts like this in the future. Wait, that means I will need to invest in many, many, many more chocolate bars. But luckily for you, my dear readers (and my dentist), that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

7 thoughts on “MM – Ethical chocolate

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    1. Additionally, dark chocolate + Thinkum = less muscle cramps!

      From (emphasis mine) –

      “Magnesium: Helps regulate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a big energy source for muscle contraction, to make muscles relax. Magnesium-rich foods: spinach, nuts and seeds, halibut, lentils, avocados, soy beans, whole grains, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit and DARK CHOCOLATE!!!!!!”

  1. Great post, Trace, and good onya for being more mindful of your chocolate purchases. We can say the C word around me, it’s okay. πŸ˜‰ I’m definitely feeling the shaky withdrawals and pining away for it right now, but I shall prevail!

    I learned about the Hershey and Nestle monopoly on all things sweet a while ago and have done my best to steer clear of their products. Not always succeeding. My favorite ice cream is Haagen Dazs Deep Chocolate Peanut Butter and guess who owns HD? Nestle. Yeah, the same company whose CEO declared that “clean drinkable water is not a human right.” It’s so discouraging.

    But there are some great smaller companies out there doing great things – besides making awesome chocolate – so there’s hope. ES is definitely one of them. Over a million dollars for conservation programs? Fabulous!

    I don’t know if you know about Chocolove, but you might want to look into that brand as well. It’s owned and run by the man who started it and their chocolate is AMAZING. I love the 70% dark chocolate and the 77% is great too. They have a lot of interesting flavors, but I’m a purist when it comes to my chocolate. Just the chocolate please.

    I know you’re more of a milk chocolate gal, but please try the darker ones from Chocolove. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Rich, smooth, and not bitter at all. πŸ™‚ Also, sorry to relay some bad news for milk chocolate, but I believe it’s been studied and proven that milk actually inhibits our body from absorbing the great nutrients in chocolate, like the flavonols – which make it a “healthy-er” treat – so the darker the better, with no milk to wash it down. πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks, Kel! I have no doubt you will beat this, but I still felt bad about the timing. πŸ™‚

      I’d heard the bad news about milk chocolate & milk (*whimper*), and I’m already slowly moving away from them. The youngest really got me motivated to try dark instead, and the eldest is pushing to use almond milk instead of cow. I’m surprised by how well the boy took to drinking almond milk, and I know that will make a big difference in his digestive issues. Baby steps.

      Thanks for the tip about Chocolove! I checked their site, and there’s a place down the road (NH translation = 10 miles) that sells the bars. I’ll definitely stop by soon and check them out!

      1. I think you’ll love Chocolove. It’s really amazing. The other thing for your son would be to try to steer clear of too much, or any maybe, nut milk or nut butters or nuts. I do believe almonds are fairly inflammatory (unfortunately – because I was all about the almond butter on celery and almond milk, and almonds on my salad) and removing them might help.

        But the good news is coconut milk is awesome! I get So Delicious unsweetened. It doesn’t have carrageenan like many other brands (carrageenan is not good for people who are sensitive and can be inflammatory as well) and it’s great. Even better than the almond milk. It’s actually very creamy which is nice. I mix my gelatin protein powder in it and though it’s very bland, the consistency is great. More like whole milk. And it’s got great healthy fat which helps me stay full longer. I need all the help I can get! So you may want to switch and see if he likes the coconut too. Coconut is an amazing superfood to boot. πŸ™‚

        1. Yay! My local grocery store carries So Delicious unsweetened. I’ll keep you posted on how the family likes it. Thanks for all the great information, Kel! πŸ™‚

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