Baring occasional and very rare moments, I will be making a soild effort to only purchess organic and/or enviormentaly friendly chocolate.
This will serve two goals: Reducing my global impact, and reducing my intake of sugar based calories.
There are a few catagories where I'll be bending this, mostly things like icecream. I have no information on if the chocolate in Bryers [which is an all natural icecream] is organic or not, but as it is part of the product and not the whole, and it's a natural product and very good quality stuff. Similarly, Ben and Jerry's icecream will also be exempt. THey have alot of enviormentaly friendly policies with regards to packaging and dairy that out weigh the uncertanty of the chocolate used. I don't eat icecream too much so it's also not that big a deal.
Chocolate is one of those items that we really don't think of in terms of enviormental harm, but it has alot of it. Until the 1970s, both coffee and cacao, the chocolate seed, were grown under
the protective shade of the rain-forest canopy. Today, almost half of all coffee
and an increasing share of cacao from Latin America are "full-sun" grown by
clearing rain forests and using large doses of chemicals and fertilizers to
force higher yields. But full-sun coffee plantations have 94 to 97 percent fewer
bird species than shade plantations, and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
(SMBC) has found as much insect diversity in shaded cacao plantations as in
lowland rain forest.
investigations by UNICEF and other international organizations have
found boys as young as nine years old toiling for no pay on cocoa
plantations in the West African nation of Ivory Coast, where
approximately 43% of the world's cocoa is grown.http://www.thegreenguide.com/reports/product.mhtml?id=6&sec=2
[and a random side intresting fact from the same site: " As a testament to cacao's popularity, 23 different bat species in one night were found foraging in a cacao stand by researchers in Brazil."]
And then there's the packaging issue. I got a bag of halloween candy earlier this month... I think there was more plastic then chocolate... Both production ethics and safety (pesticides) and waste reduction will be in concideration when I get sweets.
Then there;s the caloric side. The envior-friendly stuff is not in the local grocery down the street, thus, I can't jst go 'Ooo!' and grab me a bag of stuff like I normaly do. It'll probally also be more expencive, so I'll be limiting my amount of it. And unlike the resolution of only getting chocolate from the store in the mall that had the reeeal good dark chocolate [which might go on my exceptions list for this with a half arsed 'low packaging' note] I can order stuff and remind myself it's coming rather then do the 'well who knows when we'll be out to get more'
So we'll see how long this lasts. :)