Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chocophobia

Your Chocolate Priestess has this small daily calendar of chocolate (Chocolate: 2011 Mini Day-to-Day Calendar) that has some quote or piece of information related to chocolate every Monday through Friday.  For some reason 2011's version has nothing on the weekends though the 2010 version of this calendar did.  Today's chocolate bit was "Chocophobia: the totally logical fear that the world will run out of chocolate."  I wanted to look more closely at this idea, Sisters and Brothers.

First, while this definition of "chocophobia" was common in the sources I found on the Internet it was not the only one.  Purely from a linguistic viewpoint the term should probably mean a "fear of chocolate" which seems to happen when people either have allergies or when they become obsessed with dieting.   The first is a very rational fear because food allergies can be life threatening.  The second isn't so much a fear of chocolate itself as a belief that one is unable to resist the temptation of eating it.  Let's think about both of these definitions a bit, Sisters and Brothers.

First we'll tackle the personal fears.  Knowing that something might harm your health either because of allergies or because you have low willpower when it comes to chocolate makes sense.  However unlike tree nuts or peanuts whose oils are often used without much warning and certainly unlike gluten that can hide in everything, chocolate is generally part of the selling points for a food or drink.  That means you should know just from the title if something has chocolate.  You can always check the labels.  Being afraid seems a bit extreme in either case.  How about you be wary?  I know people with dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, even gluten allergies and they are not afraid so much as aware of what they eat.  Being afraid would only sap their enjoyment of those things in life they can eat or drink.

Being afraid that chocolate is going to undermine your diet is a bit extreme, too.  Let me be blunt: Too many calories is what causes weight gain not the specific form those calories take.  I've known vegetarians and vegans with weight problems, I've known people who snarf down tons of fats and sugars without weight problems.  The difference is in the amount consumed versus the amount burned off.  So chocolate may seem like your Achilles Heel but in reality it could be anything.  Plus as we've discovered on our journey together here, Sisters and Brothers, higher quality chocolate sates us much sooner than the cheap stuff.  So if you fear chocolate because of your weight, try high quality stuff in small quantities.  You'll sate your desire and control your calorie intact.

Now let's get back to the issue of the world running out of chocolate.  Seems weird, huh?  I mean, cacao comes from a tree, a plant, that means it grows over and over again after harvest.  Never forget that where these trees can grow, especially where they can thrive, is very limited.  It can only grow within the 10 degree band, north and south, around the Equator. Not only that but the pH balance of the soil is important and as with all soil chemistry agriculture will change that balance over time.  Let's not forget the deforestation is affecting the planet's climate which means that this band around the Equator could expand or contract.  We simply do not know what will happen.

While humans have succeeded in planting cocoa trees in many areas in this equatorial band, the soil and the methods of farming affect the flavor of the cacao which in terms affects the flavor of you cocoa and chocolate.  Try some single origin products and you'll see what I mean, Sisters and Brothers.  Will we run out of chocolate?  We can't say until the decades or perhaps centuries pass but we do know for certain that as desire for chocolate increases the prices rise.  It may be that for most of us it won't be a matter of there not being chocolate but a matter of it being expensive just like it used to be more than a century ago.

This is the second Chocolate Mini Calendar 2011 that I've bought from this publisher.  I really preferred last year's version with information for the weekend not merely a drawing.  Looks like there will be a version for 2012 but unless I see it on sale somewhere, I don't think I'll order it.  I used to be able to just find it in or local Borders but our bookstore closed down this winter.

14 comments:

Christine's Pantry said...

Interesting post. Love it.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

You don't suffer from chocophobia, do you, Christine?

something_good said...

Chocophobia :) This is good; yes, probably it refers to the fear of going out of chocolate, as being a recently invented word. Other fears toward chocolate will be blasphemy :))
Excellent article!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, something_good!

briarrose said...

I don't even want to consider the world running out of chocolate. Evil thought there. ;)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Then we have to think about where we are getting the cocoa from and how we are using this planet, I think, briarrose. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jill Colonna said...

I love this post! Chocophobia. Now that you mention it, I didn't realise I was worried about it running out and I'm now worried about good quality chocolate becoming hideously expensive! Great thought-provoking writing.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you, Jill. It made me think and when I think about chocolate, I try to share with all of you.

Pauline said...

Chocophobia - I just couldn't imagine you suffering for one moment :-)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

hehehe... My own phobia level fears might be about insects and spiders. Thanks for reading and commenting, Pauline!

createwithmom said...

lovely post :)
torviewtoronto and createwithmom

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you, createwithmom, for reading and commenting.

mywanderingspoon said...

Nice post....for all the choco fans:)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, mywanderingspoon. I hope you come back because July is going to have a huge giveaway.