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Archive for March 10, 2012

3 Chocolates Making a Difference!

3 Chocolates Making a Difference


When we think of decadent indulgence, we often think of chocolate.  And  with the antioxidants present in dark chocolate, this indulgence (in moderation,  of course) has some health benefits, as well.  But there is a growing trend  in the world of chocolate towards offering products that are socially and  environmentally responsible, as well.  Below are three chocolate companies  that promote fair  trade practices and use organic  ingredients.  All products are available at most Whole Foods locations, as  well as online and at many independent health food stores.

Theo Chocolate

Seattle based Theo  Chocolate was the first producer of organic chocolate in the United States.   Prior to the company’s launch in 2006, all organic chocolate available in  the U.S. was imported, primarily from Europe. Theo prioritizes fair trade  practices, and purchases its cocoa directly from farmers and farmer  co-operatives.  The company also strives to maintain long-term  relationships with farmers, in order to support the economic health of the  communities in which the farmers live and work.  And the ingredients for  the chocolate bars are cultivated using sustainable farming practices.

Theo uses only simple, natural ingredients.  The chocolate doesn’t  contain emulsifiers like soy lecithin, which many chocolate companies use to add  artificial creaminess to their products.  The result is a bar with an  intense cocoa flavor – perfect for the chocolate purist.

Equal Exchange Chocolate

Equal Exchange is a  Massachusetts company that offers a range of fair trade, organic products  including chocolate bars, coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas, olive oil, and  almonds.  The cocoa is sourced from farmer co-operatives in the Dominican  Republic, Panama, Peru, and Ecuador.  Similarly, the sugar comes from  co-operatives in Paraguay.  Even the vanilla, from Madagascar, is fair  trade.

In addition to being organic and ethically sourced, Equal Exchange bars cater  to the chocolate connoisseur.  They are produced using the same methods  made famous by the Swiss, resulting in a gourmet bar that will win over the  toughest chocolate snobs.

Alter Eco Chocolate

Like Equal Exchange, San Francisco based Alter  Eco offers a variety of fair trade, organic products.  Alter Eco works  exclusively with small-scale farmers to ensure equitable trading  relationships.

The company works with chocolatiers in Switzerland, but with flavors like  dark quinoa chocolate, its bars are sure to appeal to the health nut as much as  the chocoholic.

By Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from  Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political  Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of  publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary  Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

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