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Organic vs. Conventional Chocolate: All You Need to Know

Most chocolate enthusiasts consume their favorite brands on a regular basis without thinking twice about how their favorite products were produced or where exactly they came from. In fact, many people are completely unaware that there are numerous issues and many controversies that surround the process of chocolate production. 

Whether you’re a chocolate lover or simply enjoy a piece from time to time, it’s still important to learn the differences between organic chocolate and conventional chocolate in order to be more aware of what you put into your body. Is organic chocolate healthier? Is it better for the environment? Is it better for you? 

The good news is that after reading this article, you will learn the answer to all these questions, along with a few interesting facts about the differences between organic and conventional chocolate. Read on for more information!

What’s the Difference Between Organic and Conventional Chocolate?

Conventional chocolate, also known as industrial chocolate, mass-market or mass-produced chocolate, is what many of us eat as a treat without thinking twice about it because it’s what we grew up eating. Conventionally grown cocoa is one of the highest pesticide-using crops out there. On top of that, many conventional chocolates, once they’re processed and take the form of the most popular chocolate bars and sweets, contain high fructose corn syrup, wax, artificial flavors and colors, and other non-food ingredients that lack nutritional value.

In order to be called “organic,” chocolate must consist only of certified organic ingredients, meaning that pesticides and genetically modified ingredients cannot be used in production. Other chocolates – for instance, artisanal – may use similar standards but often lack proper certification. Therefore, paying a higher price for high-end chocolate doesn’t ensure that it’s organic.

For chocolate or any other food product to be considered “organic,” the general rule is that it has to contain at least 95% organic ingredients. To make sure that milk organic cacao chocolate of your choice is, in fact, organic and has no artificial flavors, dyes, or GMOs, you can also look specifically for USDA-certified organic chocolate.

Organic Chocolate is Better for the Environment and Farmers

Conventionally farmed cacao can be really harmful to the environment. Cacao farming uses one of the highest volumes of synthetic and toxic pesticides, which affect not only the environment and the crop but also the workers. 

Designed to kill unwanted insects and plants that might grow among the cacao trees, the chemicals usually also eliminate species that aren’t harmful to the plants, which throws off the entire balance of the local ecosystem. What’s more, the farmers in countries that produce the most cacao, such as the Ivory Coast or Ghana, often lack protective gear that would help minimize their exposure to pesticides. 

When you’re buying organic chocolate, you can rest assured that both cacao and sugar used to make your chocolate were produced without the use of harmful chemicals. Farmers who grow organic cacao use biodynamic and organic fertilizers and pest deterrents. These products are natural and much better for both the crops and the people who cultivate them. This allows for growing the product in an environmentally friendly way that doesn’t put anyone’s health at risk.

Organic Chocolate is Better for You

When choosing to eat organic chocolate, you’re simultaneously choosing to fuel your body with food made without chemicals such as synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides. You aren’t limited to one choice only, and you can try organic instead of picking conventional, sugary, and full of additives chocolate. 

Of course, you might not like the taste at first, which is normal, especially if you’re used to eating generic brand chocolate. In such an instance, you can try to pick flavored chocolates or start with organic milk chocolate and then try bars and candies with 60 or 70 percent cocoa content, which have a strong and often bitter taste but are incredibly healthy and good for your body. Try enjoying chocolate made from cacao and sugar grown with care and without unnecessary chemicals. 

Organic Chocolate is Often Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a business approach that focuses on seeking greater equity and sustainability in international trade. Following the Fair Trade allows us to source food such as chocolate in a way that supports small farming communities and helps producers in developing countries fight for better trading and working conditions. Most producers of organic chocolate source their ingredients from certified Fair Trade cocoa farms and cooperatives.

When you buy Fair Trade products, you simultaneously take part in the initiative that focuses on ensuring that no farmer who’s a part of the Fair Trade collective makes little to no profit – to this day, some farmers in countries like Ghana still make as little as $0.50 per day of their hard work. Fair Trade gives the farmers and their families more stability while also enabling  them to expand and grow their farms. It also eliminates child or forced labor and helps producers become economically and financially independent.

Final Word

To sum up, chocolate is one of the most popular and widely available treats that people of all ages enjoy. However, before buying your next chocolate bar or ordering chocolate chips for baking, it might be worth thinking about where that chocolate comes from and how it’s made.

While many people enjoy the sweetness of conventional chocolate, they’re often unaware that they can find their favorite tastes in organic chocolate, which also has many benefits. This including the fact that organic chocolate is better for the environment and the farmers that grow it, as its production doesn’t involve harmful chemicals. 

What’s more, organic chocolate is better for your own health because it doesn’t contain unnecessary additives and is made of higher-quality ingredients. Finally, organic chocolate is often Fair Trade and sourced in a way that supports small farmers in developing countries. Don’t hesitate to try it out!

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Owner of Personal Trainer, Father and fitness copy writer. Working hard making the world fitter and healthier!

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