Melly Murphy and Enoch Godwin butt heads over various topics every Tuesday.
Melly Murphy and Enoch Godwin butt heads over various topics every Tuesday.
Photo Credit: Vee Lewis

Tackle Tuesday: Chocolate Vs. Vanilla

Melly: That’s why I love Nestle Crunch

No matter what flavors or foods you add to it, chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most well recognised and enjoyed flavors in the world. Chocolate or Cocoa is produced and shipped from every continent on the planet with 70% coming from West African countries with other locations including South and Central America. It can come in a variety of forms and flavors that are sure to appeal no matter the consumers’ preference. The world has long been a fan of chocolate with the inventors of chocolate (The Olmecs) having existed as far back as 400 B.C. Early uses of chocolate included its incorporation into rituals and as well as being used as a form of medicine. On the other hand, the farming of vanilla has ravaged the people of Madagascar with the native peoples of the Sava region making very little income and are often forced to resort to child labor. Due to the low income of a vanilla farm, malnutrition, and stunted growth are common among vanilla farming families. Artificial vanilla which makes 99% of the world’s vanilla extract is made in a variety of different ways with one including the production of chemicals originating from the anal glands of beavers.

Enoch: Welcome to Madagascar

My argument is less around how great vanilla is but focusing on how bad Chocolate is. Vanilla farming although it may have some criminal shenanigans unrelated to the farmers themselves is relatively harmless, on the other hand, Cocoa bean farming is riddled with trouble. Cocoa farming for one thing is a heavy contributor to environmental disaster due to forests in the Amazon being burned to make room for its cultivation. Like humans, trees store extra resources for later use in case of famine, but in their case instead of fat it is carbon. When a tree is burned that carbon is released into the atmosphere causing it to heat up contributing to climate change. Besides Cocoa farmer’s disastrous expansion practices farming in Africa is fueled by child slavery. In the twenty-first century, you would think we would have completely abolished the establishment of slavery, however, in 2017 the count of child slaves employed at cocoa farms was over 2.1 million in Ghana alone. While I may enjoy this sweet rich treat, its manufacturing and the expansion of its industry are leading to the suffering of many for one’s gain.

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