The War On Chocolate
Here at Retro Thing, we've never asked our readers to get political, but here's a cause all of our U.S. readers can get behind.There is movement to degrade the meaning of the word "chocolate". It's important to take action now as the deadline for public comment is June 25th.
The Chocolate Manufacturers Association has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to allow a new definition of "chocolate". They'd like to be change the requirements so that they can replace ingredients such as cocoa butter and real milk with cheaper substitutes. Right now, products that don't fall within the definition of "chocolate" must be labeled "chocolatey" (check out cheap chocolatey covered marshmallows if you don't believe me) to make the differentiation.
If the FDA lets this change go through, it broadens the definition of what is and isn't "chocolate". The chocolate industry will have leave to change the ingredients in your favorite treats, but still claim it as chocolate. This opens the door for the use of vegetable oils and bad Trans Fats, along with other unhealthy ingredients. Whether they want to or not, chocolate manufacturers will be forced to use these inferior ingredients to remain competitive. It could also drive up the price of genuine chocolate positioning it as a "specialty" treat.
My problem with this is that there isn't any consumer benefit. It's all about manufacturers saving money by enabling them to sell us inferior product. "Chocolate" should mean "chocolate", not that waxy crud that covers a Charleston Chew.
Should we take this seriously? I certainly think so. Chocolate isn't exactly essential nutrition (though I know people who would claim otherwise), but would this lay down a precedent that corporate lobbyists can rename other food? We rely on the FDA to protect our food supply and to keep food manufacturers honest. It's not their job to rewrite the letter of the law to enable food manufacturers to weasel around with what words mean.
Click the link below to register your opinion - remember we only have until the 25th, so do this now! Pass the word to your friends who don't regularly read Retro Thing and let them know what's going on.
Let's not forget that manipulating chocolate was a powerful metaphor in Orwell's dystopian "1984". So click below, and let's all work together to keep authentic "chocolate" from ever becoming retro.