It was a usual Sunday morning; I was back home just after finishing my long cycling ride along hussainsagar and grabbed my freshly prepared ginger lemon tea. Like many i scrolled through my daily newspaper “Telemarketing of India”, I have given this name to one of the highest distributed newspaper because their 80% content is advertorial and remaining is news including few pictorial erotic stories of some detectives (this is what they are feeding to the biggest republic population). Coming to the point what grabbed my attention was two front full page advertisement of an energy bar (to me it’s just another sugar candy). To be honest I have tried them lately and they are really awesome and addictive and doesn't cost much to pocket. It made me think about their business strategy and huge amount they spend on marketing, so I decided to make some research on the facts behind huge chocolate industry. End results of which were more shocking than surprising, hence I decided to share it with world. So here is “bitter truth about chocolates”.
Wooooooo surprised to hear that, you must be wondering when most of the countries have banned leaded petrol how come its being consumed through chocolates. Well, it just so happens that the shells of cocoa beans, the chief ingredient in chocolate, have an almost supernatural ability to absorb lead from the air. Of course, this is only a big deal if there's a lot of lead in the air, right? Sure, which is why it's unfortunate that Nigeria, where a shitload of our cocoa comes from, still has lead in their gasoline. That's why a Hershey bar tastes so damn good: The secret ingredient is African exhaust.
Kids absorb higher concentrations of lead into their system than the rest of us, just through their day to day activities of eating dirt and inhaling paint chips. Also, they breathe faster than an adult, which further draws in whatever lead happens to be floating around and sends it toward their sensitive little brains. Even before they start wailing on that candy, they have more lead in their bodies than Vito Corleone. Then comes Halloween and Christmas and then new year and story continues.
While it may not surprise you that much that Big Chocolate, like any "Big" industry, doesn't give a crap about your welfare, the lengths these companies go to step over your bloated, greasy corpse to raid your wallet rank with some of the stupidest and most nefarious in the business world. Milton Hershey, for instance, often claimed that "an ounce of chocolate provided more energy than a pound of meat." He even made a wrapper for his bar stating it. Mars made a pamphlet instead that claimed eating chocolate every day was about as good as eating an apple a day. What do you think is the biggest chocolate company in the world? Hershey, right? Wrong. Mars, Inc. is four times the size of Hershey (they make the Milky Way, Snickers, Mars Bar, plus countless other products). And they got there via pure insanity.
The global chocolate industry in 2010 made $83.2 billion, $20 billion of this coming from the United States and Each year, 600,000 tonnes of cocoa beans are consumed globally. 72% of cocoa beans come from Ivory Coast and Ghana. Other producers of cocoa beans are Indonesia, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Brazil. A 2001 survey of chocolate companies in the United States, which includes Hershey’s and Mars, both use “large amounts” of Ivory Coast cocoa beans. As there are 600,000 cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast (40 % supplier), it is not definitive, but very likely, that cocoa products from these companies are harvested by child slave labour. US State Department estimates number of child labourer could be 109,000.
· The WHO recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
Dr Abhishek katakwar is a fitness enthusiast, life style advisor, obesity expert and bariatric and metabolic surgeon at Asian institute of gastroenterology, Hyderabad.
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