The Null Device
Online-rights activist Suw Charman has some fascinating notes from a talk about chocolate:
Chocolate is one of the few examples of a food whose full potential was first revealed in industrial manufacturing. Industrial age has resulted in a decline in food quality for most foodstuffs, except chocolate which was improved by better technology.
Second study in Holland, free-living people (i.e. not in lab), one group didn't eat chocolate, one was normal, and the other had a high chocolate intake. High choc intake had half the mortality of the non-chocolate group. The reason is that the chocolate bean is high in anti-oxidants, which are a self-defence mechanism for plants. 8% of cocoa powder is anti-oxidant. Good for blood vessels.
Bean types, and percentages of the bean crop:
1% Criollo - traditional cocoa bean, high quality
14% Trinitario - reasonable quality
85% Forastero - high yielding, stable, efficient crop that's not tasty, low quality.
Now you have chocolate snobbery.