Ethically Sourced, Uniquely Made, Consciously Eaten!
Today I’m posting about something that brings two of my most favorite loves together. Sustainable living & CHOCOLATE!! I’m passionate about being a conscious consumer. I really do love chocolate, but, I haven’t always loved the way in which chocolate is sourced, cultivated, harvested and processed.
I’m sure you have heard the news, chocolate is good for you!! YAY!! But, hold on a minute, not all chocolate is good for you. Chances are the chocolate you are eating is VERY bad for you 😦 (bummer) Off the shelf chocolate has many things wrong with it, but I’ll just stick to the 4 worst health & environmental issues:
- Chocolate Lead? Yes, it seems that the average candy bar ranks fourth for highest lead content in a food. There are allowable amounts of lead allowed in our food, because even the healthiest foods have lead in them. The problem comes when we consume, inhale or absorb lead in other places added to the lead we eat in our chocolate. Kids are even more vulnerable because they are exposed to more of it in there day to day activities.
- Rainforest Destruction: Palm oil, present in most popular brands of chocolate, comes from plantations whose owners clear vast amounts of rainforest, endangering the Sumatran tigers, orangutans and rhinoceroses that live there.
- Slave Labor 😦 – The same plantations who are destroying the rainforest are also accused of using slaves, stealing land and outright murdering people. Nestle, for one, has been dealing with slave labor to harvest cocoa for years.
- Big Sugar, Big Chocolate: Let’s get this straight right now. Chocolate that you buy off the shelf, from the major chocolate corporations are NOT good for you. They are loaded with sugar, sugar and then even more sugar. Not only that, one chocolate bar is waaayyy more chocolate than the amount you need. The “chocolate is good for you” campaign has done a lot of good for these corporations. The RDA of chocolate is 1oz. of 75% cocoa organic chocolate.
Okay, okay, enough bad news…time to get on with the good stuff!! I have found a company that offers three different product lines that ethically source it, uniquely make it, and consciously eat it. 😀
The company is LUX & ECO and they offer chocolate from, Raaka Virgin Chocolate, Wei Of Chocolate & Elements Truffles.
Inspired by the ancient life science of Ayurveda, Elements chocolates are artisanal desserts, free from any preservatives, emulsifiers or refined sugar and is sweetened just with locally sourced honey.
Hand-crafted in micro batches, their chocolate is raw, organic, free from dairy, free from GMOs or any artificial flavors and are infused with Ayurvedic super foods.
Elements chocolates are also made with the purest ingredients with the intention to spread happiness and love! Our body is made up of five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. Ayurveda superfoods help balance these elements and bring about a sense of happiness and peace.
We take no shortcuts. Our purest ingredients have been selected from Fair Trade manufacturers that fiercely align with our philosophy.
A wise man once said that the gifts we have are for others. We took it to our heart. We are committed to making a difference in the lives around us.
Each member of the team invests at least five hours of their time every week in giving back to community.
Moreover, 25% of the profits go towards supporting wholesome education of under-privileged children in tribal areas of India. For more details visit www.careforchildren.org
A wholesome chocolate must consider everything. They take their passion for guilt free desserts beyond their products and into their practices.
We consider sustainability for everything – from sourcing of every single ingredient to the finest detail of packaging.
Striving for the highest quality with lowest possible environmental impact. They are fully committed to become more sustainable the more that they grow.
Raaka, Virgin Chocolate:
First of all they are committed to ethically & sustainably sourcing the cocoa beans.
The foundation of great chocolate is great cacao. For us, sourcing is more than just procuring raw materials: it’s establishing a relationship with the people who do the hardest and most crucial work. We consider the cooperatives and farms we source from partners because without them we can’t make the best chocolate, and we share a set of common values, chief among them that high-quality cacao can support community and sustainable agroforestry, and make better tasting chocolate.
High-quality cacao is specifically grown, harvested, fermented and dried for flavor rather than as just a commodity crop. This commonly referred to has “flavor grade cacao” or “fine flavor cacao”. To make the most interesting and complex chocolate, it’s best to source for flavor. But it’s just good for our chocolate, it can be much better for the people producing cacao too. Flavor grade cacao often fetches a price two to four times higher than the commodity market price and we’re proud to say we’ve consistently paid within this range
We delight in collaborating with cooperatives like Öko Caribe in the Dominican Republic and social enterprises such as Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize. They grow and harvest through agroforestry, a sustainable practice designed to use both agriculture and forestry to create a healthy ecosystem which mimics the natural biodiversity of the land and yields a more productive, flavorful crop.
First, we grind the nibs in stone melangeurs, which break down the nibs, releasing and liquefying their cocoa butter and solids. The friction created generates heat, melting the cacao into a smooth chocolate emulsion as the particles are broken down. After two days in the melangeurs, the chocolate is ready to be milled to further reduce the particle size, giving it an even, silky and smooth mouthfeel. We use a three roll mill that were originally built in 1939. Our chocolate makers pour the ground mix between the first two rollers, the feeder roll and the center roll, which whip up the mass into something that looks like a giant living tootsie roll. The chocolate then runs through the final roll, called the apron roll, where a blade scrapes it off and transfers it to the apron pan. A chocolate maker then scrapes the chocolate into a bucket and runs it through for a second pass.
Wei Of Chocolate:
After 11 years in the Himalayas, living in monasteries and doing retreat in a cave, Lisa Reinhardt came back to the US to share what she’d learned about meditation.
An a-ha moment while eating chocolate, however, changed everything …
Lisa’s approach to eating organic chocolate has to do more with how you eat it.
Ever try to meditate by focusing on the breath?
What if we focused on savoring chocolate instead!
Delicious, smooth, creamy … layers of flavor unfold as the warmth of your body melts the chocolate – no chewing!
mint floral sea salt orange lavender rose chai