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Chocolate alternatives?

 
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Location: New England
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Yes, I know about carob, shudder, thanks.

Just found out about the children enslaved to being me chocolate. Appalled, so I look up Nestle and find brands to avoid:Nescafé, Starbucks home coffees, Tollhouse chocolate, etc. more appalled. We gave up Starbucks home coffee a while back when the quality went down and the price went up. Apparently, they sold it to Nestle.

We do use Carnation instant milk, Nescafé instant coffee, and a few others things on the Nestle list. So I need to do this for the other major chocolate producers who signed an ethical pledge they haven’t honored. From what I gathered, “it’s too hard” is their excuse. You’d think if they can manage to get goods all around the globe, with 1,000s of employees and customers that managing one crop without slavery wouldn’t be beyond them. They have the money. Simple. You employ slave labor or wont tell me how those cocoa pods are harvested? Okay. I wont buy them. The market would change very quickly.

Simple.

The older I get, the more I think that I should have become a hippy and stayed that way.

Does anyone know an extensive list of the corporations and their brands in one place? Don’t live in a place that could grow cocoa pods. Maple and birch syrups? Yah, but somehow it isn’t the same.

 
gardener
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Lots of OK sweeteners,  Maple syrup, agave , honey... none are chocolate!!!   Nothing can replace it in my humble opinion.  I should mention that I am a raging chocoholic....
Can't grow cacao in northern Montana either.  I generally buy the costco chips (when available)  I use organic dagoba chocolate in my coffee.
You can order outstanding rain forest old growth chocolate but you better have your checkbook handy.  Liz won't let me order that anymore, says it is the same as offering an alcoholic fine single malt scotch.... I inhale it and want MORE!!!    
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[Thumbnail for 71b45664c6ecae27a13b8d12b2614c4d-chocolate-meme-funny-chocolate-quotes.jpg]
A proper diet
 
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Location: Virginia
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You mention chocolate but also mention coffee and condensed milk. We order our coffee in 25 lbs bags from a distributor that brings it from Central America - this is the only thing we order online a few times a year that contributes to our CO2 footprint, I am ashamed to say. I roast it every 7-10 days in small batches and it comes out cheaper (about $4/lb, the last bag I bought was a Christmas special for $65 for a 25lbs bag so even cheaper) and I know what I am drinking and who I am sourcing from. For milk, find someone who sells it raw from their own cows and you can pasteurize it yourself. If you do not want to buy coffee, you can always grow chicory and use the root as a substitute but it will not taste like the real thing. As for chocolate, no substitute I have found and I do love it... Some things you just can't live without ;). As for sweeteners, we keep bees so honey is available to us. You can hook up with a local beekeeper, just make sure you get to know them and make sure they are treatment-free with their bees and that they do not feed supplemental sugar. As for corporations signing ethical pledges, I put very little stock in that, they all have a bottom line and they are all guilty in my books.
 
pollinator
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Do you have any organic grocery shops? They usually have Fair trade chocolate.

I am avoiding Nestle, Unilever etc. for years now.
It is a bit hard on the kids who want brand-specific chocolate bars. But they know I only ever buy the "good" stuff or they have to use their pocket money.
Even our supermarket has some fair trade chocolate, the organic grocery store even more, and if I wanted to go fancy I could go to the huge Fair Trade store 15 minutes by car (taking the big checkbook...).
 
pollinator
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There really isn't an alternative to chocolate. It's like suggesting that chicory root can be used in place of coffee.

I would look to the dessert traditions of cultures who existed without chocolate. You aren't really going to replace it. What you're going to do is find a flavour or flavour combination that is as complex and nuanced in terms of its flavour palate, but doesn't rely on slave labour.

It's a lot like people trying to replace meat or animal products, but thankfully without a couple macronutrients and several vitamin groups and amino acids hanging in the balance. I mean, sure, you can grind a bunch of plant material together, using mushrooms, nuts, and various vegetables in combination to try to replicate taste and textural elements. Personally, I would just grill a portobello cap instead.

I think you've identified a point of maximum effect where permacultural practices might be of use, along with coffee cultivation.

-CK
 
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I use Lindt chocolate - their +80% cacao and dark drinking chocolate. They ethically and sustainably source it.

The range is quite extensive.

It's not cheap, but you pay for what you get. Besides, it should be a treat not part of a balanced diet


LINDT USA




 
master steward
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This thread made me think of this one that has some great suggestions:  https://permies.com/t/tastes-like-chocolate

The best way to not get addicted to chocolate is not to buy it.  I got Dove chocolate for Christmas ... so good and I can't eat just one!


 
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Medjool dates are very satisfying. Have you also tried the fresh ones? (only available a certain season). They are amazing.
 
pollinator
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Jennie, I think you might have an easier time dealing with the companies like Equal Exchange Co-op that are doing it right, and are proudly wearing that badge.
If you just stop supporting the offensive corporations, you only go so far towards change... and they (especially an enormous multi-national like Nestle) might not even notice your 1/7,000,000,000th of a protest.
Buying from "good" companies, encourages a better, more fair, and just, food system.
And,
You still get chocolate.
 
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