You’ve Been Eating Fake Chocolate All Along

Jeanne Sager
12

chocolateChocoholics, grab your pitchforks! I just read that the average American chocolate bar has only 4 to 10 percent of actual chocolate in it. While I scarf down a Godiva to lessen the blow, I'm not sure which complaint to lodge with the Candy Man first: false advertising or how badly Americans are being ripped off?

Let's start with the obvious complaint here. They're advertising chocolate bars, but according to this Sun Journal report, the number one ingredient seems to be refined sugar, followed by milk solids, cocoa processed with alkali, artificial flavors, emulsifiers, and other fillers. Finally, we know why just one chocolate bar at that time of the month does nothing to tame the Incredible Hulk-sized craving.

I was shell-shocked (and hungry), so I had to check up on this one. It seems about right. The better name for them would be "refined sugar bars," but the Food and Drug Administration doesn't care to help a sister out.

According the FDA guidelines: "Milk chocolate must contain at least 10 percent chocolate liquor [which sadly has nothing to do with alcohol] and 12 percent milk solids to meet the US standard of identity. The only fats allowed in milk chocolate are cocoa butter and milk fat." Gee, thanks FDA, could you do a girl a solid? If I pay 10 percent of my income taxes this year, tell your brothers at the IRS that I met the US standard of identity for paid taxes. It would help make me less ragey at that time of the month anyway.

It would also help me feel a little less cheated on my chocolate purchases. Walking into a chocolatier costs a pretty penny these days, and my craving is going to drive me into debt.

I fell in love with the holiday truffle collection at Vosges this year, but I had to slot them onto my "buy for someone else" list when I saw the price tag. Swallowing $43 in chocolates for myself would mean striking somebody's kid off the Christmas list and branding me Auntie Grinch. Now the law of supply and demand indicates it's only going to get worse. A recent review of the diminishing supply of cocoa claims in 20 years the prices will go so high only the Bill Gates and Oprahs of the world will be able to afford it. And here we find out the chocolate makers are already hoarding the stuff?

They're swindling us out of our sweet, sweet bliss at a time when we peasants should be gobbling down the goodies while the getting's good. I'm of half a mind to get back that American pioneer spirit and make my own chocolate, but first I'm hungry. Anyone have a Milky Way?

Are you feeling the candy con?

 

Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

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