I am not a lover of chocolate these days, I find it too sweet so I have taken to making my own chocolates with raw cacao and no sugar.
I use all organic ingredients, raw cacao powder, coconut oil, goji berries, almonds, dried sour cherries, grated lemon peel. I soak almonds, sour cherries and goji berries and cut roughly, combine ingredients and roll into balls and put in freezer. Measurements, well.. a bit of each, they are different each time. They can be eaten a few minutes out of the freezer and are crunchy but not frozen. Pete likes a bit more sweetness than me so I put in raisins for him.
In writing this post I have researched about raw cacao which contains lots of beneficial antioxidants and minerals but also has a lot of naturally occurring chemicals which may be detrimental to our health. Some say it is a superfood but it also contains theobromine which is an addictive stimulant. I certainly feel the addictive whizz when I eat ordinary chocolate or raw cacao and don’t like the sensation I get of wanting more, but I thought that was more to do with sugar in it as I am very sensitive to sweet things.
It was hard to get to the source of any research and find good information, but I came across a few interesting articles.
This one gives informative balanced views on the health aspects http://www.highonhealth.org/is-cacao-good-or-bad/
This articles has videos by Fred Bisci who has 60 years of experience as a clinical nutritionist and Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Health Institute who talks about risks of eating cacao http://thegardendiet.com/cacao.html
Dr. Charles Partito gives his view http://jinjeetalifero.com/?p=420
An article by Paul Nison ‘Raw toxic chocolate’ http://www.living-foods.com/articles/toxiccacao.html
This is written by a raw chocolate maker http://www.sacredchocolate.com/does-my-chocolate-contain-insects-and-rodent-hair/
Also I came across the FDA regulations for the % of allowable amounts of rodent filth and insect fragments allowed in chocolate http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074443.htm
I remember 20 years ago my homeopath telling me about the cockroaches in chocolate which can trigger allergic reactions.
If you want to know what the defect action levels are for other foods then this is the link to the FDA list. I am glad we grow our own herbs at Gargarou. I haven’t found the EU regulations which must be published somewhere.http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/SanitationTransportation/ucm056174.htm
It’s been interesting researching raw chocolate and noticing how the news distorts information on the internet and people copy it without thinking what it means. Looking at cocoa beans and the FDA defect action level being ‘Average of 10 mg or more mammalian excreta per pound’. How 10 mg in the pound sounds a lot and by mixing the unit of measures we imagine it big, like 10 rat droppings to a pound but in fact it’s just a trace. Pete has worked out its 0.000022 pounds…… so he’s not too concerned……. although he hasn’t eaten chocolate for a few days. Me neither, my raw chocolates are still in the freezer and actually I feel I won’t be eating chocolate raw or otherwise much more. How things can change from the beginning of a blog post to the end!