What?!  Well …. Not just any chocolate.

Better World Shopping Guide is a book that rates companies for many products including chocolate companies. It rates them based on environmental impact, human rights, social justice, and animal protection. It has been determined that how chocolate is grown and processed has a huge impact on these issues. The kind of chocolate you buy is in its top 10 things to pay attention to because how you spend your dollars on it makes a big difference in the world.

Chocolate is a shade crop and grows in the understory of tropical forests. The tropical forests are home to many animals and birds. Lots of birds in Wisconsin winter in Central and South America among the chocolate plantation trees. Unless ….. it’s a big multinational chocolate company that cuts down taller trees. Our birds are disappearing because this is happening. It also means more global warming as we lose the “lungs” of our planet.

Questions to consider as you buy chocolate:
Is it sustainable? This indicates the chocolate is grown in a way that supports the earth and creatures in the tropical forests. Tall trees aren’t cut down. The rainforest is part of the support system for the chocolate then, as it should be. A symbol to look for to be sure it’s sustainable is:

Companies like Nestles, Dove, Hershey, and Cadbury are damaging our world and the creatures in our world. Companies like Equal Exchange, Theo, Endangered Species, Sunspire, Tony’s Chocoloney, and Divine are helping our world. AND THEY TASTE GREAT!

Local chocolate shops are also a good choice. Check out Tabal on Harwood Ave. in Wauwatosa. They actually roast and grind the cocoa beans on-site. It’s so interesting.
Quality chocolate should not have corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, or palm oil as ingredients. These aren’t healthy ingredients and have a negative impact on people and the world.

Quality chocolate should have:
Look for chocolate liquor which is the entire cocoa bean. It provides both the flavanols that can provide health benefits, lots of chocolate flavor, and the fat for a smooth mouthfeel and texture. Better quality chocolate usually contains chocolate liquor.
Look for cocoa which is the solid part of the cocoa bean. This contains flavonols and chocolate flavors.
Look for cocoa butter which is the fat from the cocoa bean. It provides a smooth mouth feel and melts. It is often replaced by hydrogenated fats or palm oil in chocolate of lesser quality.
Enjoy Chocolate with Sustainable chocolate candy!! It tastes great and can have a positive impact on our world.

Check out the chocolate from the Easter Bunny in the Community Room after service on Easter Sunday!

Learn about the other activities planned by the Earth Ministry Team.