What is Organic Chocolate, blog post by The Dessert Plate

FAQ 51: What is organic chocolate?

Posted by Kylie Suich

What does 'organic' on your chocolate bar wrap mean?

Organic food relates to how the food is grown.  Organic farming is the production / growing of food without using any synthetic chemicals or genetically modified crops.

Most people consider organic crops to be healthier, as you eat less chemicals and/or artificial substances.  Organic farming is also recognised as being better for the environment and more sustainable, with a direct link to not 'over cropping' or 'over grazing' farming land and avoiding chemical spill off into waterways. 

Due to the effort farmers and producers make in keeping their products organic, there is a higher cost to purchase certified organic foods. However many say the health benefits of eating less chemicals and the enhanced natural flavours (instead of mass produced similar tasting products), are worth the extra cost. 

When looking for organic products, pay attention to any type of certification symbol on the label. If legitimate you can track it to a certification body in Australia or overseas.

Organic foods may not be completely pesticide free, however the pesticide residues will be considerably lower than those found in foods grown with chemicals (which often also have artificial chemicals and flavours added in during the production process). 

Organic chocolate is therefore grown by farmers without using chemicals to enhance the growth rate of the trees. Instead they are using natural, organic and biodynamic tools to cultivate their crops. 

Currently organic certified cocoa beans represent less than 1% of the worldwide cocoa crop, with the majority grown in the Americas and the Dominican Republic.  In Australia, the bean to bar artisan chocolatiers are buying direct from farmers and have more control of the quality of the cacao bean they are buying - and then also focus on the quality of the ingredients they add.   
So when you read 'organic' on the front of the chocolate wrap, turn it over and take a look at each listed ingredient to see which are organic so you are fully informed about what you are eating.
Another way you can easily tell if organic ingredients, especially fruits, are included in your chocolate is the colour of those fruits.  Sulphur is the most common way to preserve fruit and keep it a bright vibrant colour, so organic fruits tend to be duller in colour.  However if using freeze dried fruits, such as the chocolates in the pic - you will get natural fruity colours and flavours coming through that are a delightful burst on your tastebuds.
Fancy some organic chocolate now?  Shop the Chocolate Tasting Boxes and choose a Chocoholics Box for yourself.  The Cherry Bomb features the incredible organic chocolate from Monsieur Truffe and the vegan chocolate from Meltdown Artisan that is naturally flavoured by freeze dried strawberries, watermelon and cherries.  


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