Saturday, January 29, 2011

The end of Valentine's Day as we know it..

According to several studies, chocolate (well, the cocoa we use to make chocolate), is verging on the edge of impossible to get. Or, at least, out of the financial reach of most of those with only average incomes.

Did your heart just stop?

Cocoa crops are disappearing, partially due to the droughts in Western Africa, and partially due to the unfair trade practices and civil unrest in the Ivory Coast. Did you know that most West African farmers spend three years tending a single cocoa plant before it's ready to harvest, and earn about $1 a day for their trouble?They simply can't afford to grow anymore, so they're abandoning their farms and trying to find other means of existence.

The price of wholesale chocolate is about to reach a 30 year high, and according to experts, chocolate will soon be about as expensive as caviar. The price has already jumped up $500-$600 per metric ton.

Have you run to the corner store to stock up on your Hershey's yet?

No more Cafe Mochas, no more chocolate birthday cake, no more Death By Chocolate ice cream. Giving a box of chocolate on Valentine's Day will suddenly have an all new meaning of love. (Keep the chocolate, please, just give me something sparkly, k?) Hershey Kisses will suddenly mean as much, if not more, than the real thing.

(Wouldn't it be ironic if chocolate turns out to be the commodity that finally makes Britain and America care about Africa's politics and trade - their Middle East Oil, so to speak? It happened with diamonds...which are another Valentine's Day gift. Hey, wait a minute, did I just stumble on something important?)


  1. SHUT...UP.... *dies 1000 deaths*

  2. I might be a rare female, in that, I don't particularly like Valentines Day. I don't like most of the fillings that come in the chocolates, flowers just end up dying (but I do love potted house plants as an alternative)... I do hope to be able to make a nice dinner for me and my Hunny, but the idea of flowers and candy isn't my thing. I think it's more important to be kind, and thoughtful the other 364 days of the year.

    But, this is just my opinion.

  3. Ack! *starts pondering whether to purchase a second standalone freezer to stock with all things chocolate*

  4. I couldn't care less about Valentine's Day, but as for this news on cocoa. . .

    AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! (as she ate her Equal Exchange, organic, fairly traded dark chocolate -- no not kidding. It's from my kid's school fundraiser.)

    You're right. It would be amazing if the tipping point for Africa was due to a chocolate shortage. And maybe this will push people to finally start taking care of the planet as well.

    Love your "About me," btw.

  5. There needs to be SOMETHING to make Americans start caring about what is happening there! If it's be it!

  6. Uh oh, a lot of people will be really upset if they can't get their chocolate! I'm one of the rare few who actually doesn't like chocolate in any form, but my kids LOVE it.

  7. I like chocolate as a daily sweet, not something that will be rare like turkey on Thanksgiving or wearing nylons. I try to be "Fair Trade" or equivalent chocolate (and coffee) as much as possible, but sometimes cheap chocolate (or coffee) is all I can afford to get my fix. But I agree... SOMETHING needs to be done in Africa. And has been needed for a long time.

  8. Get. Out! Are you trying to give me a stroke here? But I really think you are onto something here. Hmmmm...


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