It has long been accepted that chocolate has been the food of the gods. It is just that over the centuries the definitions of the gods has changed. One thing is for sure, chocolate and cacao has been reserved for the elite. Through imagery archaeologists have been able to prove that from the origins of chocolate culture, it has been connected with elitism. Records from earlier Spanish explorers show that at one point in history cacao seeds were used as a form of currency. In our Chocolate Class, Dr. Martin has even referred to it as the “food of the gods”.
Fast-forwarding to our present time in history you would not see advertisement or hear phrases like that. Truthfully, although some may still have this sentiment, to refer to any human as a god would not be politically correct. However, there are many subtle ideologies being promoted though advertisement that imply that this ideology of chocolate and elitism still exists. Think about it, when was the last time you seen a malnourished Ghanaian child advertising for Hershey’s chocolate? Well of course that would not be the “right thing to do”. Well, what about a well-to-do Nigerian farmer advertising his own seeds? That would not be so right either, would it? After all, chocolate is not for the gentleman or the lady of African descent. It is clearly for the European descendent. Of course, it has to be. A great deal of it’s advertisements imply such.
Unless its Halloween or Easter, you see advertisements of beautiful European women or well built European men advertising rich decadent silk chocolates. Yes, most times the imagery of advertisements reflect the people the product is intended for. The height of these modern sexual gods is during Valentine season. You see love, implied purity, fantasy fulfillment, and satisfaction all connected to chocolate and it’s European counterparts. It’s a perfect scene, to some at least.
No, you can’t generalize this presumption to all Europeans or White Americans. But, it is attached to many and most in the chocolate business. While, there has been much criticism in this post, credit must be given to those individuals who have sought to change the story. There are many great efforts on the global scale to bring equality to those on the suffering end of the chocolate industry. However, on a large scale, there is much work to be done. There is still a lot of not-so-good practices going on in the industry. While many see a sexual goddess attached to chocolate, others see a monstrous bear.
For many on the outside, they do not see the pure goddess that is actually being portrayed. They see a monster that is likened to a polar bear consuming chocolate. The more this polar bear consumes chocolate, the more poop that it produces. While there are many efforts that seem to be pushing for equality, it seems that the more the world consumes chocolate the more poop is produced in the lives of the African Farmers. Countless lives are being affected. Children are still being trafficked in African countries. There is still unfree labor contributing to the production of cacao for chocolate. Children are risking their health. Long-term physical ailments will be the results of children carrying heavy loads and not being trained to use sharp machetes. To add insult to injury, these farmers who risk their lives -in a sense- to produce cacao, still receive a considerably low revenue from the sales of the chocolate. While many look at chocolate as a pleasurable delight, there are many with insight of how cacao farmers are treated who look at chocolate consumption as a poop producer!