Sunday, April 22, 2007

Like Water For.....Crisco?

Big Food has petitioned the FDA to allow them to sell vegetable fats and oils and pass it off as real chocolate, which is made with cocoa butter. Mmmm, a big bar of Crisco. You can submit an e-comment to the FDA in opposition to this travesty (click on submit your comments and look for this docket number: 2007P-0085). Save chocolate!

Here's the comment I submitted to the FDA:

Keep chocolate as it is, made of cocoa and cocoa butter. I do not want another false adulterated product passed off as the real thing. Plus, I do not think any research has been done on the nutritional implications of replacing a natural, satisfying ingredient -- cocoa butter -- with vegetable fats and oils. We've already seen the disastrous results of substituting high-fructose corn syrup for sugar. Don't add to the obesity epidemic, and don't take away my real chocolate. Do not adopt these regulations. Keep chocolate real.

LATimes: Hands off my chocolate, FDA!
The FDA may allow Big Chocolate to pass off a waxy substitute as the real thing.

sisyphus shrugged: save chocolate!

Suburban Guerrilla: Oh no!


FDA docket No. 2007P-0085: Adopt Regulations of General Applicability to all Food Standards that would Permit, within Stated Boundaries, Deviations from the Requirements of the Individual Food Standards of Identity

Like Water for Chocolate (novel)

wikipedia: Chocolate

Physiological effects

Pleasure of consuming

Part of the pleasure of eating chocolate is due to the fact that its melting point is slightly below human body temperature: it melts in the mouth. Chocolate intake has been linked with release of serotonin in the brain, which produces feelings of pleasure.[13] A study reported on the BBC indicated that melting chocolate in one's mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and also lasted four times as long after the activity had ended.[14] Research has shown that heroin addicts tend to have an increased liking for chocolate; this may be because it triggers dopamine release in the brain's reinforcement systems[15] — an effect, albeit a legal one, similar to that of opiates.

Potential health benefits and risks

Recent studies have suggested that cocoa or dark chocolate may possess certain beneficial effects on human health. Dark chocolate, with its high cocoa content, is a rich source of the flavonoids epicatechin and gallic acid, which are thought to possess cardioprotective properties. Cocoa possesses a significant antioxidant action, protecting against LDL oxidation, perhaps more than other polyphenol antioxidant-rich foods and beverages. Processing cocoa with alkali destroys most of the flavonoids.[16] Some studies have also observed a modest reduction in blood pressure and flow-mediated dilation after consuming approximately 100g of dark chocolate daily. There has even been a fad diet, named "Chocolate diet", that emphasizes eating chocolate and cocoa powder in capsules. However, consuming milk chocolate or white chocolate, or drinking milk with dark chocolate, appears largely to negate the health benefit.[17] Chocolate is also a calorie-rich food with a high fat content, so daily intake of chocolate also requires reducing caloric intake of other foods.

Two-thirds of the fat in chocolate comes in the forms of a saturated fat called stearic acid and a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. However, unlike other saturated fats, stearic acid does not raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.[18] Consuming relatively large amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa does not seem to raise serum LDL cholesterol levels; some studies even find that it could lower them[19].


Studies suggest a specially formulated type of cocoa may boost brain function and delay decline as people age.[21]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


One warm summer morning, Tony van de Keuken was reading a newspaper. On page 13 he found a short item about human trafficking in the cocoa industry. About children being sold at markets to slave traders. That was in 2002—one hundred and thirty-nine years after the abolition of slavery.

Tony is not only a big fan of chocolate, but also a journalist. The brief article in the newspaper continued to haunt him, so he did some research on the subject. It soon turned out that hundreds of thousands of children are being forced to work on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast, the country where most of the cocoa comes from. Since chocolate is a blend of cocoa from different areas, every chocolate bar is basically tainted by slavery. And slavery is a criminal offence.

In March 2004, accompanied by a good lawyer, Tony went to the public prosecutor to turn himself in as a chocolate criminal. After all, he now knew that his favourite chocolate bars were produced with the help of child slaves. And buying something that you know was obtained by means of a criminal offence is punishable in the Netherlands by up to four years in prison. Then he had another bar….

Six months later, the public prosecutor dismissed the charges that Tony had brought against himself. Slavery was not a priority. The Netherlands had more pressing problems. Since Tony did not agree with this decision, he took it to the Supreme Court. For this, he needed the testimonies of ex-slaves. Fortunately for him, these are not hard to find in Africa.

Before long it was 2005, an important year for the chocolate industry. Four years earlier, all major chocolate producers had signed a covenant pledging the slave-free production of chocolate by 1 July 2005. They would be advertising this with a slave-free hallmark on every wrapper. Tony knew that multinationals are adept at making promises but not as good at keeping them.
Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the remake of Roald Dahl’s masterpiece Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opened in cinemas in July 2005. Nestlé would be making Willy Wonka chocolate bars in connection with the film, so Tony challenged them to produce the bars guaranteed slave-free. Nestlé didn’t like the idea. The covenant had turned out to be hollow. Not one of the chocolate producers had kept to the agreement.

Tony decided to start making chocolate bars himself and to be the first to bring a guaranteed slave-free chocolate bar to the market. He bought five thousand bars, the first of which became available in stores on 29 November 2005:
Tony’s Chocolonely®, with a slave-free logo. The bars sold out in one day.
It is a great success. Tony has gone into business. This is the twenty-first century. Slavery is archaic!

"How do you spell that word, slave free?"
(Nestlé spokesperson)

"Its a wonderfull idea, Tony's Chocolonely"
(Yola Carlough - Ben&Jerry's)

"Go for it!"
(Felicity Dahl)

“Okay, call it slavery, but you know they’re dirt poor down there anyway...”
(Nestlé spokesperson)