Now I’ve been merrily addicted to this wonderful, sugary brown concoction since early childhood. I can recall skipping with delight into my local candy store, and gazing upon such delights as M & M’s, Hershey Bars, Nestle Crunch, Chunkies and Raisinets, just to name a few. And these weren’t the mini, bite size versions, these were the real deal. It was pure almond joy.
So as I got older and matured into a responsible adult, I realized that a chocolate bar a day does not keep the doctor away, so I’ve had to cut back on my intake. New age doctors say that if you’re going to be ingesting chocolate, it’s healthier to go to the dark side. Who knew?
Now I will admit there are lots of good dark chocolate bars out there, but you really don’t get that sugar rush that you do with milk chocolate, and isn’t that the point? Then again, researchers from the Plain or Peanut Institute suggest that dark chocolate boosts memory, attention span, reaction time and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. And it’s a great after school snack.
Now I bring up this delicious subject because of an interesting item I found on Yahoo Health News. In a recent study by the US Food and Drug Administration, they found that 59 percent of dark chocolate products in the U.S. contain trace amounts of milk. According to my abacus, that’s close to two out of three bars recommended by four out of five dentists.
So your favorite dark chocolate bar contains a little milk, what’s the big deal?
Well, according to FDA researchers who aren’t on the take,, “Even one small bite of a product containing milk can cause a dangerous reaction in some individuals.” That explains George Bush.
Now dark chocolate has been the savior for folks who want to experience the sensual flavors and effects of chocolate without bringing the cow along with it.
According to U.S. laws, and thank God there is a law, food products are required to put their ingredients on the label. Sugar is my favorite, with high fructose corn syrup a close second and hydrogenated soybean oil taking the bronze.
Now this white liquid produced by cows is one of the top food allergies in the country, although as a kid, I thought cookies and milk were as beneficial as penicillin.
The contamination probably took place when they cross pollinated the milk and dark chocolate, as the equipment was probably shared in the making of the bars. Personally, I blame it on the white chocolate.
The results were that two out of seventeen of these products labeled “dairy-free” or “allergen-free”were found to contain milk. Fifty-five of the ninety-three dark chocolate bars without any clear indication of the presence of milk also were found to contain Boosie’s fluid. And six out of the eleven chocolate products labeled “traces of milk” contained milk at levels high enough to cause a reaction similar to the explosion on Mount St. Helens.
And now the news gets even better. The consumer health watchdog group, As You Sow, who is all about protecting the people and the planet, filed notices of legal action last Wednesday against Hershey’s, (say it ain’t so,) See’s Candies, and Mars, alleging violation of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act for failure to warn consumers of the toxic chemical cadmium in the companies’ chocolate products.
Holy 3 Muskateers bar, Batman.
It seems our youth are especially susceptible to cadmium, as it has been linked to kidney, liver, and bone damage. But don’t worry kids, your pancreas and spleen are still safe.
As You Sow, and as we shall reap, had previously initiated legal action against an additional thirteen chocolate manufacturers, including Godiva, Ghirardelli, Lindt, Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, (no, not Trader Joes!), for failure to warn of lead and cadmium in their chocolate products.
Not to worry parents out there, but lead exposure has been a significant public health issue for decades and is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and lower IQ at specific levels. This explains Texas Governor Rick Perry.
According to Eleanne van Vliet, As You Sow’s toxic chemical research director, “Consumers need to know that chocolate may contain heavy metals. Since lead and cadmium accumulate in the body over time, even small amounts should be avoided.”
When asked for a comment, the group AC/DC said they were too busy, as they were on the highway to hell.
Well, it’s your choice folks, but when dealing with small children partaking in these products, I zinc it may be time to take a closer look at it. Do your due diligence. You know, the children are our future.
So for today’s photo snack, we are returning to the edge of the continent on the morning of December 14. The place was Its Beach and Lighthouse Point, and when I arrived at this glorious location, the sky was full of color. Then the sun rose over the mountains across the bay and vivid colors were added to the canvas. Simply delightful.
On to some late night humor. “Jeb Bush is getting his presidential campaign in gear. Last week he said he supports a path to citizenship for immigrants. He said, “I believe in an America where hard work and dedication can lead to any job that your brother and dad once had. It was reported today that Edward Snowden may return to the United States. He is going to carpool with Julian Assange and Roman Polanski.” – Conan O’Brien
“Two California teachers charged with having sex with students and giving them cocaine. On the plus side, the students involved had perfect attendance. Yesterday Justin Bieber turned 21 years old. Justin started celebrating on Saturday — five years ago.” – Conan O’Brien ” Happy birthday to Justin Bieber. Yesterday he turned 21, which means he can be tried as an adult.” – Jimmy Kimmel
“Boston Medical Center found that 15 percent of 2-year-olds in the Boston area drink as much as 4 ounces of coffee a day. Pediatricians say giving caffeine to toddlers can cause depression, diabetes, sleep disturbance, and obesity. On the plus side they get a lot more finger painting done.” – Jimmy Kimmel “President Obama said he wants the United States to establish an embassy in Cuba by April. When asked if Cuba would establish an embassy here, Obama said, “What do you call Miami?” – Jimmy Fallon
So we’ll catch you having a great season with Portland, but unfortunately, you tore your left achilles tendon last week. But you’ll come back strong. Aloha, mahalo and later, Wes Matthews fans.