Saturday, February 12, 2011

Real vs Fake, Part IV - Chocolate

Chocolate - real, honest, dark chocolate - is kind of clean. Ingredients? Ground and tempered cocoa beans, sugar ( CE in the "It comes from the Earth" sense but white sugars are so overprocessed as to be unclean ... ), milk, lecithin ( a naturally occurring fatty lipid that binds chocolate ingredients together ), flavorings like vanilla, and maybe veg oil.

Now, most people who are CE only use cocoa powder, as it is much healthier and cleaner than bar chocolate. It adds that chocolate zing to dessert recipes that you may have forsaken in your quest for CE.

I'm not purporting real chocolate to be Clean by any means - but I am trying to relay that what you think might be chocolate isn't really chocolate at all.

Due to the tremendous increase in the cost of cocoa beans in the last 10 years, many chocolatiers have reformulated their chocolates to be a candy substance that the USDA doesn't even legally allow them to call chocolate anymore. Instead of adding pure cocoa butter to their mixes, manufacturers have learned a trick to replace much of that real cocoa butter with cheaper vegetable oils - producing "mocklate" as some call it. It looks like chocolate, kindof tastes chocolatey - but it isn't chocolate.

The removal of cocoa butter violates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of milk chocolate, so subtle changes have appeared on the labels of the Hershey’s products with altered recipes.

Products once labeled “milk chocolate” now say “chocolate candy,” “made with chocolate” or “chocolatey.”

Here's a tricky test that skirts the USDA rules: Which bar is real, and which is fake?

The top picture shows an old wrapper - one that represents a bar of chocolate made with cocoa butter ( and the limited but present health benefits of cocoa butter. ) 
The bottom picture shows the new wrapper - the reformulated product that is largely vegetable oil based. 

How do they get away with this? I am unsure. I'm trying to do research on it - but notice the difference in net weight on the packages. The real bar says net weight 1.55 ounces. The reformulation says 15.55 ounces. Same size bar. Why?  I'll let you know what I find. 

Here's another. Hershey's Kissables used to be labeled as candy coated milk chocolate. because of the extreme reformulation, they now must be called chocolate candies:

Just a visual wake up here. When you look at processed foods, the wrapper can say a lot of misleading things to make you think you know what you are eating. Be watchful, be mindful. You may think a processed food is Clean. Read the ingredients, do research, and make the decision for yourself.