• How to Choose Ethical Chocolate that is Healthy & Delicious

    March 21, 2018 • EAT, GUIDES, VEGAN

    Chocolate – one of life’s universal pleasures. Really, it should be added to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs! But the production of it is oftentimes a contentious issue. Awareness around production and the cost to small producers in developing countries is coming to the fore. Here are some ways to make ethical chocolate purchases this Easter, and year-round.

    What are the issues?

    The main issues with chocolate are:

    • Whether the chocolate is Fair Trade
    • Is it single origin?
    • Is it healthy, i.e. vegan, nut free, sugar free, dairy free?
    • Is it palm oil free?

    Fair Trade

    Cocoa farmers in impoverished regions such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar have difficulty earning a sustainable income. This is despite a high demand for cocoa.

    The reasons are many. Sub par crops due to disease and age of trees and rising production costs mean that farmers in these regions are being squeezed.

    Added to this is the terrible issue of child labour due to the cycle of poverty and unfair terms of trade.

    By ensuring the chocolate is fair trade, you are making a difference. It is ethically sourced and distributed so you can go ahead and enjoy the sweetness of Easter and beyond.

    Single origin

    Each chocolate producing region has cocoa with a distinct flavour. Just like fine wine, chocolate is now being savoured for its originality and bean-to-bar goodness.

    This is great for small production farmers as the originality and flavour pushes up prices as demand for single origin increases.

    Palm oil free

    Palm oil is a cost-effective ingredient to produce, and it is often used to create chocolate cheaply and quickly to maximise profit.

    Palm oil production is the number one cause of deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is creating havoc for animal and human habitats specifically orangutans and elephants and is contributing to global warming.

    The good news is some of the big chocolate companies are now producing palm oil free chocolate, however sometimes it is hidden in the ingredient list.

    We remind you as a consumer to double check the ingredient list though. Palm oil is a hidden ingredient in almost every way it is used, and there are actually over 200 different names for palm oil. Below are the three ingredients to look out for when purchasing chocolate. If you see these ingredients listed, it is more than likely palm oil:

    • Vegetable oils
    • Vegetable fats
    • Emulsifier

    Healthy ethical chocolate – is there such a thing?

    Turns out, yes there is. Biome has it covered with an array of ethical chocolate goodies that cater to vegans and those with nut, dairy and gluten allergies all while ensuring that the planet is looked after. The range is also ethically chosen.

    To help you out, here are 5 fun choices for Easter and beyond.

    Plamil Chocolate

    Where to find ethical chocolate - nut free, dairy free, vegan and palm oil free chocolate - Biome Eco Stores

    Plamil chocolate is made from organic, dairy-free milk chocolate, that is made in a dedicated factory where no dairy, gluten or nuts are ever used. It is made using 100% renewable energy and Fair Trade ingredients.

    Shop Plamil chocolate here > 

    Alter Eco Chocolate

    Where to find ethical chocolate - nut free, dairy free, vegan and palm oil free chocolate - Biome Eco Stores

    Alter Eco Fair Trade ethical chocolate is delicious and healthy. The range Biome stocks is dairy free, low gluten, vegan, Certified Organic, Fair Trade and GMO free. The range consistently receives 5 star reviews!

    Shop Alter Eco here >

    Bahen & Co. Chocolate

    Where to find ethical chocolate - nut free, dairy free, vegan and palm oil free chocolate - Biome Eco Stores

    Bahen & Co works with and purchases directly with the cacao farmers. By paying direct and cutting out the middle person, they exceed Fair Trade and pay prices that respect the farmer’s efforts. The beans used for making the chocolate are honourably sourced, roasted, cracked, winnowed, stone ground, conched, and aged, all in small batches by rare vintage machines. The process from bean to bar takes place in Margaret River, Western Australia. Bahen & Co. is incredibly special chocolate.

    Shop Bahen & Co. chocolate here >

    Bennetto Chocolate

    Where to find ethical chocolate - nut free, dairy free, vegan and palm oil free chocolate - Biome Eco Stores

    Bennetto ethical chocolate is vegan, organic, Fair Trade and tastes fantastic. The range includes Intense Dark, Mint & Cocoa Nibs, Orange & Chilli, and Toasted Hazelnut. Bennetto is carbon neutral, and the chocolate is packaged in recyclable packaging.

    Shop Bennetto chocolate here >

    Pana Chocolate

    Where to find ethical chocolate - nut free, dairy free, vegan and palm oil free chocolate - Biome Eco Stores

    Pana chocolate is handmade from 100% natural, Certified Organic and raw ingredients with 100% pure essential oils.  It is a decadent vegan treat packed with healthy antioxidants. Pana is low GI and free from dairy, soy, gluten, refined sugar and preservatives. It is packaged in recyclable packaging.

    Shop Pana Chocolate here >

    Discover our full range of ethical chocolate in-store and online here >

    What are your favourites?

    Feature photo source: Bahen & Co.

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