You are enjoying mildly interesting conversation at a social gathering and someone throws out the term cacao.
“Hold that thought,” You say, “Did somebody say CACAO?!”
Theobroma cacao! This is the Greek name for the plant where chocolate comes from and translates Food of the Gods. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, chocolate is more ubiquitous than ever!
In fact, we can say that chocolate can be purchased in practically any grocery store, gift shop, and even online. This divine and delicious pleasure is everywhere! Yet this cash crop grows in some of the most underdeveloped areas of the world, namely in West Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
The incredible cocoa or cacao plant is cauliferous, meaning it has two main harvest seasons, and requires human labor all steps of the process, from collecting the pods by hand using machetes, to scooping out the seeds or mucilage, to begin fermentation, to laying out the seeds to dry in order to transform into beans. Later they are hauled off to market. Cocoa farming requires a ton of work and it is the livelihood of approximately 4.5 million families around the world today.
Now let us add some sweet thoughts to the mix before you are about to reach for that rich chocolate bar or box full of variety confections. As consumers, we have the power to make the difference in the lives of millions in the cocoa farming industry, and this does not even include the rest of the supply chain, our planet, and the health we want for our bodies. Doing GOOD can mean buying Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate. Yes, I said it— Eating chocolate means doing GOOD! Here is why:
Top 10 reasons why to buy Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate:
1. You will be supporting a sustainable environment.
2. You will be protecting wildlife, migratory birds, and the midge fly—the only insect that can pollinate the cacao plant.
3. You will be ensuring that cacao farmers are getting paid a fair wage.
4. You will be protecting people from human trafficking, slavery, and child labor.
5. You will be supporting farming communities and co-ops in developing countries.
6. You will be giving back to Earth by not harming it with pesticides, herbicides, and GMO’s.
7. You will help sustain a healthy and transparent supply chain.
8. You will taste the difference, and the terrior better—the geological environment that effects flavor, including the soil and climate wherein the plant grows.
9. You will impress your Sweetie.
10. You will feel GOOD about yourself and your body will thank you for not consuming GMO products.
WOW! That is a whole lot of reasons why to buy Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate. Did I just mention a WHOLE LOT?! It takes one simple choice to do a LOT of GOOD for the Earth, humanity, your loved one, and your own body.
How can I be sure that the chocolate I am purchasing is certified FairTrade and Organic? Look for labels that say they are certified Fairtrade Certified™ by Fairtrade International (FLO) and certified Organic (e.g. USDA organic, EU organic, JAS-Japenese Agricultural Standard). Additionally, try to find chocolate makers that are Rainforest Certified. Migratory birds flock in tropical rainforest which shade the cocoa trees and preservation of these Rainforests means preservation of the cocoa production and the habitats where these plants thrive best.
Next time you hear the word cacao, you will be well equipped with knowledge on all things chocolate! Spread the LOVE and DO GOOD by sharing the knowledge and joining in the Global effort to change the world one choice at a time by buying Organic and Fair Trade chocolate. If you find that your taste buds are liberally tantalized by now, look no further—GoodieDo fully supports Pana Chocolate!
This absolutely delightful Organic Raw Chocolate is handmade in Melbourne, Australia. All main ingredients are Fair Trade! Go ahead and take a bite of that delicious chocolate, Guilt-Free!
Mar Paden- Mar authored this blog. Mar is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Art and has recently joined the GoodieDo team as a social media intern. Look out for more posts by Mar!
This blog post is about GOOD people doing GOOD things
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