Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and I can’t help reminiscing about my first love…chocolate. I have loved chocolate for as long as I can remember, and never pass up an opportunity to indulge. 

Until recently, I didn’t give much thought to how chocolate was produced, but as I slowly started walking down the path to more sustainable living, my guilty little pleasure became increasingly heavy on the guilt. Child labor, deforestation, unsustainable farming practices…how could something as wonderful as chocolate be tangled up with so much darkness? How could I have been buying an unnecessary product, a treat, never knowing the pain it was causing others? Now that I know, what do I do? 

Luckily the news isn’t all bitter. A growing number of companies are offering more sustainable and ethical  chocolate options. Besides the various certifications (fair trade, organic, rainforest alliance certified…) look for shade grown, and single source origin. Some large brands are greenwashing, so be sure to checkout smaller companies, that have closer relationships with the farmers they buy from. 

Being green does cost more green, but don’t let that be a deal breaker. Since making the switch to more sustainable and ethical chocolate, I have been able to continue my love affair with cacao and still stay on budget. To make it work for me, I started eating one square of chocolate at a time, instead of an entire bar. Surprisingly, a square is all I really need to satisfy my chocolate craving, and one chocolate bar now lasts me a few days. I also like to use chocolate chips…they aren’t just for cookies. A bag of chocolate chips goes along way, and can be sprinkled on top off all kinds of things. 

Twinkle green this Valentine’s Day by taking a few extra minutes to find a sustainable chocolaty treat for your sweetie, and you can take heart that you are only buying the good kind of darkness. 


Popular Posts