Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates…

Today I want to talk about chocolate! Sweet, creamy, delicious chocolate. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate; chocolate with nuts; chocolate with fruit, whatever your preference, practically everyone delights in a square or five every now and again. And for a very good reason too. Not only does chocolate taste delicious, but it’s been proven to have several health benefits that I like to believe are true! Chocolate consumption releases happy hormones; it is said that eating chocolate leads to a healthier heart, increased intelligence and even weight loss… in moderation that is! Ever since I’ve become vegetarian, the ethical side of me has wanted to know where everything I eat and use comes from. Once I become interested in something, I research it to death! So rather than bore you with everything I now know about the chocolate industry, I’m going to tell you about my newest favourite Dutch chocolate.

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I first heard about Tony’s Chocolonely via Dutch Youtuber, BooksAndQuills, in a video about her favourite Dutch treats. I had seen the vibrant packaging in the shops before but always went for brands I knew better, like Milka and Dove (aka Galaxy!). After hearing the story behind it though, suddenly I was compelled to taste this retro looking bar… and let me tell you, it is delicious!

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This chocolate goes beyond Fair Trade. Ten years ago, a Dutch journalist called Teun Van de Keuken publicly outed himself as a ‘chocolate criminal’ after discovering the slave-labour practices in the cocoa industry. He went as far as to hand himself over to the police and several charges of slavery were actually brought against him!! When his case was thrown out of an Amsterdam court in 2007, Van de Keuken started his quest to create a slave-free chocolate world. After failing to convince the major chocolate companies to create slavery-free chocolate, he founded a new chocolate company that insisted on it. Unfortunately, even Fair Trade chocolate cannot guarantee that it is slavery free due to a blind eye being turned to human trafficking in the cocoa industry in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, who supply 75% of the world’s cocoa. So Tony’s slogan is op web naar 100% slaafvrije chocolade or on the way to 100% slavery-free chocolate.

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Not only do Tony’s make scrumptious chocolate with no artificial ingredients, preservatives or trans fats, and is GMO-free, the Tony’s In Africa project is striving to help African cocoa farmer create and invest in their own organisations and put money back into their own communities to try and abolish child slavery. Who knew buying a chocolate bar could have such an impact?

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As far as I’m aware, Tony’s Chocolonely is mostly sold in the Netherlands and along the borders of Belgium and Germany. I’d love to see it in Ireland and the UK though. Mostly because it tastes amazing and has about half of the ingredients/chemicals than other chocolate brands, so it has to be good for you!

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I think the Netherlands is slowly turning me into a tree-hugging hippy!! But I don’t care. I’m going to guiltlessly enjoy a couple of squares of 70% nearly slavery-free chocolate with a cup of tea tonight because in other news, I’VE FINALLY FINISHED MY THESIS!! Ceeeeelebrate good times, come on! 🙂

Tot morgen,

Charlene

xoxo

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