This Article appears courtesy of Nourish Magazine
There’s a plethora of options when it comes to curbing your chocolate cravings – especially around Easter time. and although choosing organic might not be the first thing on your mind in the confectionery aisle, there are a number of reasons why organic chocolate is simply better.
Recent research by Australian Certified Organic found that the decision to buy organic products often comes from a desire to eat healthier, avoid any unnecessary chemicals and additives and have a reduced impact on the environment. While all this may seem a lot more tangible when you think of your lettuce leaves being sprayed with pesticide or your carrots growing in artificially fertilised soil than when you’re noshing on Dairy Milk in front of the telly, choosing organic chocolate is just as important. “The main difference is that organic chocolate is made using the most natural ingredients and without the use of artificial additives, pesticides and chemicals,” says Deb Singleton of Organic Times (organictimes.com.au), an Australian-owned company that sells organic chocolates, cookies and baking products. “You may notice that organic chocolate usually lists a smaller amount of ingredients.” Their organic, fair-trade 55 per cent dark chocolate contains only five ingredients: cocoa mass, rapadura sugar, cristallino cane sugar, cocoa butter and soya lecithin – all of which are certified organic.
“In order for our products to bear the NASAA certified mark, all the ingredients used in the production of our organic chocolate are organically grown and certified,” Singleton says. “Only packaging is not required to be certified organic; however, as we have a strong belief in sustainability, we ensure our packaging is made using recycled board in Australia.”
Choosing organic chocolate isn’t just a more natural option; it’s also more sustainable. Organic usually equates to sustainable farming practices,” says Singleton. “Organic products are grown using sustainable procedures to ensure that nutrients in farmlands are maintained, as well as not using artificial pesticides and chemicals that are harmful.” Cacao trees, in particular, can be susceptible to pests and disease and so are known to be one of the most highly sprayed crops, but not organic cacao trees. “Organic cacao trees are grown using no chemicals and within their natural ecosystem,” says Singleton. “Organic farming begins with the nourishing of the soil, which then leads to the nourishment of the plant and ultimately the flavour and goodness of the food, and these natural growing conditions promotes biodiversity and decreases the incidence of disease.”