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For chocolate lovers, there is simply no substitute, and if cocoa beans could be cultivated anywhere, cocoa (Theobroma cacao) trees might outnumber apple trees in American yards. They would certainly outnumber any plants that produced vegetables.



The danger to chocolate comes from an increase in evapotranspiration, especially since the higher temperatures projected for West Africa by 2050 are unlikely to be accompanied by an increase in rainfall, according to business-as-usual carbon dioxide emissions scenarios. In other words, as higher temperatures squeeze more water out of soil and plants, it's unlikely that rainfall will increase enough to offset the moisture loss.

So while you may not be able to grow your own chocolate in your own back yard, you can still enjoy this most delectable of treats, delivered from exotic lands. If cacao growers are able to plan for the future, that will be good news for your taste buds and our planet.

Sonwa, D.J., Weise, S.F., Nkongmeneck, B.A., Tchatat, M., Janssens, M.J.J. (2009). Carbon stock in smallholder chocolate forest in southern Cameroon and potential role in climate change mitigation. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 6, 252008.

S'Mores are a tasty treat any time of year. There is nothing more yummy at the end of a day sitting next to a campfire. Our kit includes Tabal Chocolate squares, marshmallows, and graham crackers. This is a family size kit with 10 chocolate squares and if you run out of chocolate you must have been on a really long hike that day.

Intrigue Chocolate is a small, artisan chocolate making and confection company that celebrates the discovery of flavor through the medium of fresh chocolate.Visit us in Seattle's historic downtown neighborhood of Pioneer Square.

No introductions are needed for this highly treasured food that dates back to 2000 BC. At that time, the Maya from Central America, the first connoisseurs of chocolate, drank it as a bitter fermented beverage mixed with spices or wine. Today, the long rows of chocolate squares sitting neatly on your store shelves are the end result of many steps that begin as a cacao pod, larger than the size of your hand. Seeds (or beans) are extracted from the pod and fermented, dried, and roasted into what we recognize as cocoa beans. The shells of the bean are then separated from the meat, or cocoa nibs. The nibs are ground into a liquid called chocolate liquor, and separated from the fatty portion, or cocoa butter. The liquor is further refined to produce the cocoa solids and chocolate that we eat. After removing the nibs, the cocoa bean is ground into cocoa powder that is used in baking or beverages.

Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas milk chocolate contains anywhere from 10-50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form, and sugar. Though dark chocolate should not contain milk, there may be traces of milk from cross-contamination during processing, as the same machinery is often used to produce milk and dark chocolate. Lower quality chocolates may also add butter fat, vegetable oils, or artificial colors or flavors. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids and is made simply of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk.

Cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavanols that may help to protect the heart. Dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate. Flavanols have been shown to support the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the endolethium (the inner cell lining of blood vessels) that helps to relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure. [1,2] Flavanols in chocolate can increase insulin sensitivity in short term studies; in the long run this could reduce risk of diabetes. [3,4]

Other observational studies suggest a link between high cocoa or chocolate intake of 6 grams daily (1-2 small squares) and a reduced risk of heart disease and mortality, possibly in part by reducing blood pressure and inflammation. [6,7]

Dark chocolate is high in calories (150-170 calories per ounce) and can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. However, chocolate, like nuts can induce satiety, so the longer term implications for weight control are not clear. It also contains a moderate amount of saturated fat, which can negatively affect blood lipid levels, though its heart-protective effects from flavanols appear to outweigh the risk. Choosing dark chocolate and eating modest quantities may offer the greatest health benefits.

Independent groups that have evaluated different samples of chocolate found that dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa solids, tends to contain more metals than milk chocolate. Also, organic brands do not necessarily contain less metals than non-organic chocolate, sometimes containing more.

The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted separate studies to assess dietary intakes of cadmium and lead from cocoa and chocolate products in children and adults, and found that these foods were not major sources of cadmium and lead in the diet. [9] Still, international efforts have been made to reduce metal contamination in cocoa and chocolate. These include establishing maximum levels for cadmium and lead in these foods, and publishing codes of practice for agricultural and manufacturing to prevent and reduce contamination in food. [9] Examples are:

In January 2019, the European Commission implemented maximum limits for cadmium in cocoa and chocolate products, and denied access to products in European markets that did not meet these standards. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also set maximum levels for lead in candy that includes chocolate.

Not all brands of dark chocolate are high in cadmium and lead. The links below show testing of various chocolate brands for heavy metal content. (Note: The Nutrition Source does not endorse specific brands, and the inclusion of branded products in these external resources does not constitute an endorsement.)

To reap the health benefits of dark chocolate while minimizing risk, choose brands tested lower in heavy metals and limit to one ounce a day. Those at higher risk for negative side effects such as children and those who are pregnant may wish to eat even smaller amounts and only occasionally.

Canadian scientists, in a study involving 44,489 individuals, found that people who ate one serving of chocolate were 22 percent less likely to experience a stroke than those who did not. Also, those who had about two ounces of chocolate a week were 46 percent less likely to die from a stroke.

Eating 30 g (about one ounce) of chocolate every day during pregnancy might benefit fetal growth and development, according to a study presented at the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

The scientists believe that the success of dark chocolate in this case is that it contains flavonols known as epicatechins, which enhance the release of nitric oxide in the body. Beetroot juice has a similar effect.

Manufacturers of light, or milk, chocolate, claim that their product is better for health because it contains milk, and milk provides protein and calcium. Supporters of dark chocolate point to the higher iron content and levels of antioxidants in their product.

Weight gain: Some studies suggest that chocolate consumption is linked to lower body mass index (BMI) and central body fat. However, chocolate can have a high calorie count due to its sugar and fat content. Anyone who is trying to slim down or maintain their weight should limit their chocolate consumption and check the label of their favorite product.

Bone health: There is some evidence that chocolate might cause poor bone structure and osteoporosis. The results of one study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that older women who consumed chocolate every day had lower bone density and strength.

In 2017, Consumer Lab tested 43 chocolate products and found that nearly all cocoa powders contained more than 0.3 mcg cadmium per serving, the maximum amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Considering that heart disease is the number one killer and that dark chocolate has been shown to substantially reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, I believe regular chocolate consumption can be a good thing. Always choose above 70-percent cacao and select your brand wisely so as to keep your cadmium, lead, and sugar low while maximizing the antioxidant and flavonol benefits.

Here at TCHO, we believe chocolate should be wholesome and delicious! That's why we're on an everyday mission to bring you the best chocolate products around. Browse the chocolate flavors in our collections, and you're sure to find something you love. From rich and fudgy dark chocolate to creamy oat milk chocolate, we have a delicious, plant-based bar for everyone. Shop here for all chocolate flavors, including vegan and non-GMO chocolate bars. We also have vegan baking essentials and chocolate gift boxes for the true chocolate lover. Discover special releases and tickets for chocolate factory tours.

All our chocolates are vegan and non-GMO with lower sugar than our previous chocolate bars. They're also Fair Trade Certified and certified kosher. Go ahead, grab that 18-bar chocolate variety pack with our latest dark and oat milk chocolates. And for home bakers, try a baking variety pack and begin mastering every recipe in your kitchen. There are so many ways to indulge in tasty premium craft chocolate.

TCHO Chocolate is flavorful and luscious because it's made from high-quality ingredients. Our cacao's origins give our chocolate its unique flavor and tasting notes. Shop for lush and dense varieties of vegan dark chocolate with craft chocolate bars like Holy Fudge and Born Fruity. Or get the best of both origins with our sophisticated Dark Duo bar. 041b061a72


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