I love chocolate! (Big surprise, right? A lot of people love it.) If you read my blog regularly, you probably know that supporting organizations that save rain forests and ones that promote fair/equitable trade are very important to me. Naturally a company that makes chocolate bars from equitably traded cocoa and donates profits to save the rain forests sounds like a win-win-win idea to me. That’s exactly what Endangered Species Chocolate (chocolatebar.com) does, and my family and I love them!
I was concerned after recently reading the following information:
About 70 percent of the world’s chocolate is grown in west and central Africa. The lead content of cocoa beans is low, but that of manufactured cocoa and chocolate products is among the highest of any food. How so? No one is sure, but several major cocoa bean-producing countries in Africa used leaded gasoline until recently, and a few still do. It seems likely the toxic metal is introduced at some point, probably multiple points, during cocoa bean shipping and processing. Is there enough to worry about? The Dagoba Organic Chocolate company of Ashland, Oregon, thought so or anyway did after a little prodding from the Food and Drug Administration. Though the company wouldn’t divulge test results, it recalled 40,000 pounds of its high-end chocolate products this spring after some were found to exceed FDA standards for lead.
Since Nigeria, the place where Endangered Species Chocolate is grown and produced, is in western central Africa, it would seem like their chocolate might be at considerable risk of lead contamination. That would be heartbreaking to this chocoholic. I wrote to the company (gotta love the Internet!), and I received a very nice response back that I would like to share (only editing out some personal info). It certainly put my fears to rest.
Read More »Endangered Species Chocolate – Not a toxic source of lead