Organic Chocolate Goes Mainstream

Source: Steve Meyerowitz aka Sproutman,

Are you familiar with Green & Black’s? They are the leading British chocolate maker in the organic sector, and they are quite successful. Last year, the company increased their sales by 69%. Green & Black’s was the first UK company to source its cocoa beans under Fair Trade agreements, and its Mayan Gold chocolate was the first organic chocolate product to be awarded the Fair Trade Mark in 1994. One of their lead products is a 70% cocoa 100-gram bar that is popular with health-conscious consumers. Pure chocolate, without the milk and sugar and the pesticides, contains many antioxidants and flavonols, which have numerous health benefits (see feature below).

Evidently, Cadbury Schweppes found them delectable, too. The London-based company, which manufactures Europe’s best selling Dairy Milk brand, just acquired them for an undisclosed sum. The good news is that Green & Black’s will continue to operate independently and be able to maintain its ethical values.

Chocolate Is Good for You, but Buyer Beware
More and more information is coming forth about the health benefits of chocolate. It turns out that cocoa actually contains antioxidants and many different types of flavonols, such as quercetin and rutin, which belong to the larger family of bioflavonoids. Flavonols are known for their protective properties against cardiovascular disease, but they also have been found to have numerous benefits to the immune system as well as reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to all sorts of important places including the brain. Watch for more entries into this lucrative market from other producers, including some mainstream manufacturers and read the labels carefully so that you know what you are really getting.

This is good news—especially if you buy organic chocolate and avoid the milk and sugar and buy from brands like Green & Black’s.

So, enjoy your chocolate, but choose wisely about from whom and what kind you buy.

Steve is a health crusader and author on ten books, including The Organic Food Guide. He has been featured on PBS, the Home Shopping network, QVC and TV Food Network. He has written for Better Nutrition, Prevention, Organic Gardening and House & Garden magazines.