Being Mindful About What’s in Your Chocolate

Here’s how to ensure your favourite sweet treat isn’t stuffed with additives or unethically harvested—plus, a simple savouring practice to fully indulge your sweet-tooth.

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Do you like your chocolate sweet and creamy, bitter and dark, or perhaps a bit fruity or with notes of smoke? Whatever flavor you desire, rest assured there’s a bar for that. As the global demand for chocolate keeps growing, amounting to $98 billion in annual sales, the options keep coming. 

And thanks to a craft chocolate boom, the world’s favorite confection now enjoys a foodie reputation rivaling coffee and wine—with prices to match. In some groceries and specialty shops, it’s not unusual to find small-batch, single-source chocolate bars costing up to $15. 

Yet despite its sunny, universal appeal, creating chocolate remains an intensive process with a far-reaching impact. The chocolate trade is rife with human and environmental abuses, making enjoyment of this delicious treat far more complicated for the mindful consumer. 

The Price of Chocolate

In the West African countries of Ivory Coast and Ghana, where nearly two thirds of the world’s cacao is grown, increased crop demand has led to widespread deforestation. These impoverished nations, where cacao farmers typically earn below the World Bank’s international poverty line of $1.90 per day, are also the site of the industry’s greatest labor and human rights abuses, including child and slave…

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