Mind-Opening Thoughts on Chocolate
posted by :: Rob from Moksha Chocolate
Here at Moksha, we think of chocolate as more than mere candy and not just a “sweet treat”. We take chocolate very seriously, and if you’re reading this, we’re guessing you do too. In honor of our shared love and respect for chocolate, our desire is to share some of the most profound ideas about chocolate, which inspire us to create some of the best chocolate in the world.
In this post I will take you in and out of the love for chocolate and the facts that can be tough to learn, where we are constantly and mindfully working towards change.
“He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
We’re going to say it. Chocolate is not a guilty pleasure. Sure, sometimes it’s fun to think of it that way, but chocolate has been used for centuries as a lot more than that. In fact, the genus name for the Cacao tree is Theobroma, which means “food of the gods”. That’s because it was used in religious celebrations for centuries before it was ever discovered by Europeans.
“Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.”
― Fernando Pessoa
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Metaphysics is, “the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.” I had to look it up to make sure, because Fernando Pessoa’s quote made me feel funny inside. But he’s right! When you eat a piece of really good chocolate, it can make you think about all these things. It can connect you to yourself, to the place the chocolate came from, and make you feel just a little bit closer to everyone and everything in the universe. Chocolate is a profound food. That’s why we enjoy it so much.
“Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolatey cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle's Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.”
― Sarah Vowell
Ok then, there is plenty to digest! I stated that chocolate was serious, and I meant it. Unfortunately, historian and writer Sarah Vowell is talking about the real problems in the chocolate industry today, problems that we’re working hard to solve. And you can help too, by becoming more informed about the chocolate that you’re buying. The fact is, even though so-called ‘fair trade’ and ‘eco-conscious’ chocolate brands are more popular than ever, the problems in the chocolate supply chain still exist. We’ve got to do more if there’s a chance to make chocolate actually sustainable.
“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”
― Katharine Hepburn
Katherine Hepburn is one of our heroes, who lived to the excellent age of 96. We’re willing to follow her advice on just about anything, especially when it comes to chocolate.
“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare...neither knew chocolate.”
― Sandra Boynton
I’ve never thought about it like this, but how can you argue with logic?
“It drives me nuts that our food specialists insist on giving us the same number of chocolate, vanilla, and butterscotch pudding, when the laws of physics dictate chocolate will disappear much faster. No one gets a vanilla craving in space (or on earth).”
― Scott Kelly, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery
Scott Kelly spent 520 days, 10 hours, and 33 minutes in space. That’s almost a year and a half! When I run out of chocolate, it makes me feel sad (and that’s probably because of an important chemical called anandamide). But one of the perks of my job is that I’m never that far away from a Moksha bar. But don’t worry, Ret. Capt. Kelly is back on Earth and closer to chocolate now, and NASA is still sending chocolate to our astronauts in space.
There are many layers to loving chocolate. You can make a big difference by educating yourself about what your favorite chocolate companies are doing — or not doing — to make things better. Read "Our Story" to learn more about the practices and the heart of Moksha Chocolate.