Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Infantilizing Consumers of Chocolate?

As you know, Sisters and Brothers, your Chocolate Priestess considers it part of my duty to let you know about health concerns involving chocolate and this includes any consumer recalls. As you should also recall, I'm a big fan of consumers also taking responsibility for themselves which is why I share nutritional information about products I review here when I have that information.

I saw this article from Forbes.com on Fanny May recalling chocolates and instead of this just turning into my repeating an recall notice, it annoyed me. The recall is because almonds are not listed as an ingredient on the label of the two-ounce Fannie May "Milk Chocolate & Almonds" candy bar. "The candy bars were sold between Aug. 21 and Aug. 31. The UPC code is 5274571484."

Are you kidding me?

Almonds is right in the name. If you are allergic to tree nuts why on Earth would you even consider buying this? Yes, the company should list all the ingredients on the label but do they really need to recall a product that fails to do that when the ingredient in question is part of the name of the item? That just seems unnecessary, using up financial resources and frankly treating consumers as though they are babies, unable to even grasp basic information.

Here's a copy of the chocolate bars from Fanny May from their own website. There is it, white and purple label, distinct from the others with the title "Milk Chocolate & Almonds Bar" right in the purple section where you eye is drawn.

Who reading this would actually buy this bar if you were allergic to almonds and tree nuts? Anyone?

We forget sometimes that the cost of chocolate is not just a factor of the cost to produce them including all the labor, growing of cacao, purchasing the other ingredients, processing it all, packaging it and them getting it into consumer hands. The cost also reflects legal requirements and concerns over future legal claims against a chocolatier.

All food products need to be regulated. Sadly even one greedy business person who wouldn't care about feeding you sawdust or rats means everyone has to be held to a high standard and that must be enforced. We as consumers, as responsibility people need to also think and get as much information as we can before buying anything.

So please, always look at the label, the entire label and purchase wisely.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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