My beautiful wife Nicole (who happens to be eight months pregnant) wrote this and I thought it would be a perfect guest blog post for Try Living Organic. Sugary cravings are a serious issue in most people’s lives and there are real dangers when we eat blindly. Always check the ingredients list. Please take three minutes and read my wonderful wife Nicole’s post. -Paul Martinez
Let’s talk about CHOCOLATE!
This is one of my biggest cravings! After lunch today I began to have an intense craving for chocolate. Unfortunately, I was in a rush this morning and forgot to swipe a Beyond Organic
chocolate bar from the fridge. This is my go-to craving stopper! Not only is this delicious little bar organic it is also packed full of antioxidants, omega 3’s and probiotics!
I just couldn’t resist the urge to have some chocolate, so I decided to grab something sweet from the vending machine. It took me a few minutes to decide which refined sugar, artificially flavored, preservative laden goodie dangling before me I was going to pick. I tried to be very thoughtful of my choice…Snickers…no…peanut intolerant, Mars….mmmmm….too much HFCS, cookies….nah…too many ingredients I can’t pronounce. There it is! A Hershey’s milk chocolate with almonds bar! The lesser of two evils right? How bad could it be? Just plain milk chocolate and some protein packed nuts! I eagerly put my money in and like a child at Christmas I quickly reached in to grab my treat. I immediately opened the package and without hesitation began munching away.
It was definitely not what my palate had hoped for. Since I have been eating organic clean foods my taste has changed and the foods I once enjoyed (you know the highly processed ones) well…I find them pretty repulsive now.
My first bite was already traveling to my stomach when I tasted not the chocolatey sweet goodness I had hoped for, but instead a bitter chemically taste
. I tried to justify what I was tasting and took a second bite again repulsed by this once loved treat.
Then I suddenly snapped out of my barbaric craving and forced myself to look at the ingredients to discover exactly what I was putting into my body.
Milk chocolate…okay of course… sugar, cocoa butter; lactose; milk fat; soy lecithin…ICK GMOs!…PGPR, Emulisifier…wait a minute JUST WAIT A MINUTE! What in the world is PGPR? I found my self stumped because I had never seen this ingredient before in my life and I am an avid label reader. I rushed up the stairs to my office and googled it. OH NO! Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate! With a name like that it can’t be good. What in the heck is it?
Per wikipedia: “It is used by chocolate makers to reduce their costs of raw materials. Since 2006, commercial-grade candy bars, such as those made by Hersheys and Nestle, made an industry-wide switch to include PGPR as an ingredient – a possible indicator of a cost-saving measure by the commercial chocolate industry. Makers of PGPR (see source link below) such as Danisco and Palsgaard indicate PGPR can be used to replace the traditional but more expensive cocoa butter as an ingredient in chocolate. Palsgaard’s website asserts, “Cocoa butter is an expensive raw material for chocolate manufacturers. By using PALSGAARD 4150 the chocolate recipe has lower costs in terms of less cocoa butter but also gives the benefit of having less fat.”
So it is basically some man made chemical that will probably be linked to cancer or some other disease one day that manufacturers use to reduce the cost of producing this “treat”!
My friends, this is why it is so important to look at labels and be KNOWLEDGEABLE about what you are putting into your body. Big companies are not out to help you, the consumer, live healthier lives. They are out to gain the most of your money by making the cheapest possible products all the while marketing them, with the help of the FDA, to be safe and healthy for consumption.
I learned a very valuable lesson today and I hope you have also! Even those of us who are pretty knowledgeable and disciplined in eating pure, clean foods have our moments of weakness. Next time, I will remember this and hopefully resist the urge…AND not forget to grab a non-gmo healthy chocolate bar!
Source: Nicole Martinez: “PGPR in my Chocolate Bar!”
Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dvanzuijlekom/8498354575/sizes/l/in/photostream/