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

Vending Machine MadnessLet’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. Hersheys Chocolate containing PGPRThen 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?
PGPR in my Chocolate - Ingredients
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! 
[For a chocolate bar you can trust I recommend Youngevity’s healthy chocolate line up:  All natural gluten-free dairy-free glycemic-friendly and fair trade compliant chocolate: ]
Source: Nicole Martinez: “PGPR in my Chocolate Bar!”
Picture credit:

12 thoughts on “PGPR in my CHOCOLATE BAR!

  1. Elisha Paul

    Hi. Please can you tell me what are the good ad recommended foods that on can eat during Pregnancy. ( 6 weeks) Any advice is much appreciated. I also have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Thanks

  2. Nicole

    Hi Elisha, first of all CONGRATULATIONS on the big news!! As you know I am not a physician so anything I recommend is just my personal opinion and you should always make sure you check with your doctor before you make changes to your lifestyle.
    In general pregnant women should be consuming an additional 300 calories per day. You need to make sure you are getting plenty of protein, folic acid, omega 3s, and vitamin D in your diet by reducing the consumption of processed foods and increasing whole foods in your diet and taking a good prenatal supplement. Here is a link to a good article about nutrition in pregnancy which can explain it in much better detail than I can. Dr. Mercola has the highest rated natural health website in the world and I have been reading it for over 7 years. He has really helped me increase my knowledge of the importance of nutrition and living naturally.

    No-Nonsense Guide to a Naturally Healthy Pregnancy and Baby:

    Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune reaction originating in the gut triggered by antibodies against thyroid enzymes and proteins. Many times autoimmune diseases are caused by inflammation in the body. Therefore, it is very important for you to get rid of the inflammation in your body by following an anti-inflammatory diet. Also, since a reaction in your gut is triggering this response it is important for you to be consuming high quality probiotics and probiotic foods (such as the foods that Beyond Organic offers ex: Amasai, Terrain, Suero Viv etc…). You can click the green link beside the article to enter the Beyond Organic store to browse the products if you are interested. Here is another link to Dr. Mercola explaining inflammation and its repercussions on the body further.

    Inflammation Affects Every Aspect of Your Health:

    I hope you find these things helpful! Just remember not to overwhelm yourself in trying to change your lifestyle but instead take baby steps. It has been an 8 year journey for my husband and I. We have made plenty of mistakes a long the way and are still learning. Every little step counts and we hope to continue to support and educate people about the importance of nutrition!

  3. Christina Whitehouse

    Thanks for the Great article and for sharing your insight. If only everyone would read labels and genuinely care about the foods they are putting into their bodies! I haven’t been able to try Beyond Organics Chocolate yet, but I intend too!

    1. admin Post author

      Thank you Christina! yes I see you are a Beyond Organic customer as well, they really are the PERFECT pure healthy treat to stave off the unhealthy alternatives. (like the one mentioned above) 🙂 Get yourself a box or wait till they go on a 2for1 BOGO sale.

  4. Cathy Walton

    Thank you for this information. I am now an EX of Hershey’s and Nestle chocolate. I will miss it especially when I am craving it. I pretty much cannot buy anything but ingredients to make my own food. I am trying to live without chemicals, GMO’s, preservative’s etc. I absolutely feel so much better though. My body feels better than when I was in my 20’s. I am now in my 50’s.

  5. Brian L

    While I will agree that chocolate containing only cocoa butter as it’s fat source is more delicious, the cost of its use continues to increase. I also agree that keeping foods as natural as possible is the way to go for healthy living, I generally dislike it when people spread false/misinformation about things they do not understand. Let’s use PGPR as an example. Just because an ingredient on a food label is abbreviated, doesn’t mean it’s “basically some man made chemical that will probably be linked to cancer or some other disease one day,” as the author of this article posits.

    All compounds, both natural and synthetic, are named with various rules dictated by the type of compound it is. For example, oleic acid, commonly referred to as Ω-9 (“omega-9”) fatty acids by the health community, and the main fatty acid present in olive oil, also has a much more precise and scientific name — cis-Δ9-octadecenoic acid. The scientific name denotes the placement of a carbon-carbon double bond on the ninth carbon from the methyl end of an unsaturated fatty acid, which in this case, is an 18 carbon fatty acid. All of that information I just gave is contained within the naming schema that provided cis-Δ9-Octadecenoic acid. Scientists use the much more scientific name because it’s very precise in its definition vs. “oleic acid,” which with no prior knowledge of what fatty acid that was, would mean absolutely nothing.

    Getting back to the point, as provided by the author, PGPR stands for Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate. In scientific terms, that means that it’s a fatty acid with “poly” (more than two) glycerol molecules (glycerol is the backbones of all triglyerides, and is a natural compound) and “poly” ricinoleate. Ricinoleate is also known as 12-hydroxy-9-cis-octadecenoic acid. Looking closely at its scientific name, you may notice that minus the “12-hydroxy” prefix, the rest of the molecule’s name looks very similar to oleic acid’s name. Very astute of you dear reader. It actually is the same name, except using a slightly different naming scheme. Putting that together, ricinoleate is actually oleic acid (the main component of olive oil) with an added oxygen atom on the 12 carbon. That’s it- one extra oxygen atom on the fatty acid. Oh- and PGPR is the naturally occurring oil extracted from castor and soy beans.

    So don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. Instead, learn everything you can, so that you can make informed decisions, rather than taking the word of someone that is uninformed/misinformed themselves. Cheers!

    P.S. Chocolate with cocoa butter is delish, but I still love me a delectable s’more made with PGPR-containing Hershey chocolate and a slightly burnt marshmallow!

    1. erik

      I it’s funny that you can write an intellectual, informative essay about these chemical compounds on food and then at the end you say “I still love me”do you live in the south or did you copy and paste?

      1. Hannah

        Very informative, Brian. While we should always be on the lookout for harmful chemicals in the processed, artificial foods that are on the market today, we also need to keep in mind that many natural things would sound scary to us if we referred to them by their scientific names. Just because it’s a long name, doesn’t always mean it’s bad. I’ll still take cocoa butter over PGPR any day though.

        And to Erik, that’s a rude, thoughtless thing to say. What does it matter if he’s from the South or not? I have friends from the South who are both intellectuals and say words like “y’all” and “love me some..” Are you bitter because Brian made a very well thought out counterpoint to your own opinion?

    2. MFrost

      Thank you! I found this article after googling PGPR because I found it in my hershey bar. It’s glycerin, basically.

      Articles like this really get me as they fear monger. You hit it right on the nose – Learn everything you can about the product, don’t just spread fear about it because you don’t know what it is, or because it has a super long weird name.

      Remember friends, dihydrogen monoxide (water) can kill, but we can’t live without it.

  6. erik

    This is so absolutely true!!! I used to live Hershey bars till years ago they became bitter and I didn’t know why! Disgusting, companies like that do thus type of crap to keep costs low, yet still increase the price of their candy!!! It used to be 79¢ for a regular candy bar now it’s 1.59!! Ridiculous! They should be ashamed of themselves and I’d love to see then go out of business. They’ve become the modern day Philip Morris.

  7. Jason

    I had this bar of chocolate from a neighbor once, I rarely eat candy. Im a baked goods person, from a bakery that makes there products on site, has always been my fix. I ate candy one very short period of my childhood. When I ate a bite of the neighbors hershey bar, my mouth felt like tiny crystal structures were stinging my mouth. I thought maybe I had too much sugar and it was odd. Never the less it went away and it wasn’t till a year later. Halloween of 2015, someone left a few hershey’s kisses at the gym. One girl offered and so I had 3, why did the exact same thing happen. My mouth felt like a burning high pitched sensation. I have been so mentally assulted lately by companies tricks, it was hard to look up to see what I suspected about the chocolate going around. It has obviously changed and this PGPR is the cause of the, I just ate something I should not have aftertaste.

  8. Patricia McL

    I am done for good with Hershey, and maybe all chocolate, after my experience. Yes, it does burn your tongue. I couldn’t understand why. I got other health issues from it due to the ingredients Hershey puts in their chocolate. I ate a small amount daily until I guess it added up. I got high blood pressure, which came down when I stopped the candy. I also had the pressure in my eyes go up. I have not rechecked them since I quit all candy, but will do so. I was going to doctors for other things. They all stopped when I quit all candy. If I kept on going I would be dead in time. I am happy people here reported their findings as well. We can help the world by saying how we feel. Hershey would rather see their customers die or get sick rather than put the right ingredients in their candy. 12 oz bag of kisses where I live cost just under $6.00



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