When it comes to sitting down and tucking into a big chocolate egg, most of us are more concerned about our waist-lines than anything else.
This Easter, it’s time to start thinking beyond our own bodies, and to take a good look at the broader picture.
According to a 2011 investigation funded by the U.S. Department of Labour, over 800,000 children on the Ivory Coast and almost 1 million children in Ghana are working in chocolate production. This means working laboriously in often tough and hazardous conditions.
The chocolate industry is one of the biggest culprits for child exploitation, and even with humanitarian efforts from across the globe, it still has a long way to go towards anything like ethical practice.
Production and labour is not the only worry for the chocolate industry. The effects of global warming could mean that cocoa farming on the Ivory Coast and Ghana may become very difficult if not impossible by 2050, when temperatures are expected to have risen by 2 degrees.
With lent coming up in two days time, perhaps it is a good time to think about how we can be more conservative with our treat-buying. It does not necessarily have to be about cutting out or cutting back. It could simply be a matter of choosing our products more carefully.
We all like a treat every now and then – some forms of chocolate are even thought to be good for us in small doses. It can release feel-good hormones and some experts believe that dark chocolate contains antioxidants and may even help to lower blood pressure.
Eco-nutrition is about reaching a secure balance between healthy eating and global conservation. There are certain chocolate companies and brands that take eco-nutrition very seriously. Niko B, certified by the Soil Association, is completely Fairtrade, 100% organic and uses local, in-season products as far as it can.
Similarly, Sussex-based Cocoa Loco offers organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free options. Founder Sarah Payne explained: “It’s really difficult because in the economic climate people are looking to save money, and big supermarkets can offer much cheaper prices than we can. But our products are really artisan. You are getting something which has been made lovingly, and it’s been made by people in the local community. I think that’s important.”
Small decisions and small changes we each make could have a lasting effect on the world in which we live. Click the link if you would like to find out more about eco-nutrition.
Healthy eating is not simply about how we look or how we feel. It is about knowing where our food comes from, and the impact our daily choices have on the world around us.
View and comment on the original Ecologist article.