Antidote Blog: antidote chocolate

The Joyful Journey of Direct Trade Chocolate

By Red Thalhammer

Direct Trade Chocolate

Unveiling the Secret of Happiness: Direct Trade Chocolate!

Who says you can't have your chocolate and feel good about it too? Welcome to the sustainable world of Direct Trade chocolate. You may be more familiar with the term Fare Trade and its practices, however Direct Trade makes a bigger impact for you and the farmers. This is the chocolate that wraps you in a cozy blanket of joy, while also cuddling the planet and its people. Yesss, you heard it right! It's all about love, sustainability, and caring for the people who grow the cacao. Ready to dive in?

Taste the Love in Every Bite

Imagine a bar of chocolate that is not just a treat for your taste buds but a cuddle for your soul. Direct Trade chocolate which in general pays farmers much more than Fair Trade, is packed with love and care from the people who grow it and handle it in a save and clean environment. At Antidote we know the farmers of the cacao we purchase and pay them a premium for the high quality of cacao they deliver. Savoring Direct Trade chocolate is like receiving a warm, heartfelt hug from mother earth herself. Feel the love, baby!

Where Connection Meets Consciousness

Why settle for basic when you can have extraordinary? In the land of direct trade chocolate, quality reigns supreme! Expect the highest quality ingredients and finest aroma cacao that your palate never even dreamed of. To have that direct connection to the farms and knowing the level of care and attention to detail is making Antidote bars extra special. What’s more? Each unique Antidote flavor comes with a story—a story of empowerment, ethical sourcing, and a brighter future. We're talkin' connection with a conscience!

A Bold Adventure in Every Bite

Are you a thrill-seeker? A flavor adventurer? Direct Trade Chocolate is your passport to a journey of taste and ethics. Born from the adventurous spirit of exploration by our founder, this chocolate is a melting pot of global influences. From the lush cacao farms from various provinces in Ecuador to the hands of our lovely chocolate production team in Quito, Ecuador, to our founders Austrian roots and European quality standards and values, each step is a chapter in an adventure story written by diverse cultures and bold entrepreneurship. Take a bite, and let your senses take flight!

Healthy Indulgence: Pleasure Without the Guilt

Whoever said that pleasure and health can't go hand-in-hand never tasted Direct Trade Chocolate. With a focus on high cacao content and less sugar, Antidote chocolate is a healthy pleasure instead of a guilty one. As a bonus, working with direct trade cacao also ensures a lead free chocolate bar. It is handled and cared for so well that there is no way of lead getting into it. Think of it as the superhero of sweets—a delicious treat that's also your wellness ally. It's the perfect blend of indulgence and nourishment. A win-win for your waistline and your soul!

Sustainability: The Heartbeat of Direct Trade Chocolate

At the core of each chocolate bar is a commitment to sustainability. How? By engaging in direct trade with farmers cutting out any middleman, these chocolate bars ensure a fair wage that is a more than double than Faire Trade, sustainable, clean and often organic farming practices. All that encompasses ethical producing chocolate. Plus, these divine bars are made right at the cacao origin making a bigger impact for the people and families in the cacao producing country. The result? A sustainable life cycle that benefits everyone involved—farmers, producers, and YOU!

The Bottom Line: Direct Trade Chocolate is the Future!

So, the next time you're craving something sweet, make it a Direct Trade Chocolate. It's not just a bar; it's an experience—a journey through love, care, adventure, health, and sustainability. This is the chocolate of the future, a future that's as bright and joyful as the chocolate itself.

Get your hands on a bar of Direct Trade Chocolate today and be a part of this joyful revolution. Yes it may cost more than your average chocolate bar but we guarantee you it will outperform your average bar by 3+ times in value – considering all the points we discussed. Cheers to a life that's as rich, full, and delightful as the chocolate you're about to savor!

Till then, stay choco-tastic! 🍫✨

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Consumer Reports – “Lead & Cadmium in Chocolate” – A Hyperbole

By Red Thalhammer

Lead and Cadmium in Chocolate

“Lead and Cadmium Could Be in Your Dark Chocolate” -CR

Sounds Scary! Until you look at the Data. “Should I be worried?”

No. Now let’s dive into, “Why?”

Where is this coming from? 

CR: A Recipe for Chocolate Consumer Panic

In December 2022, Consumer Reports (CR) published an article indicating 28 chocolate bars were tested, and many had “high” levels of cadmium and/or lead.

Some points to know, which will be covered in further detail below:

  • CR is using California’s maximum allowable dose levels (MADL) as their baseline
    • They do not explain this threshold, nor is this level based in science
  • CR only focuses on chocolate
    • There is no context of how other foods are common sources of dietary cadmium uptake
  • CR does not cover how the human body removes toxic elements from your system
    • Nor do they mention how chocolate supports these mechanisms

CR neglects to include any “big picture” relative view – merely chocolate + cadmium & lead. Plus, we need to interpret these results with data & science:

FIRST, WE NEED TO COVER “MADL” VS. “NOEL”

CR uses California’s maximum allowable dose levels (MADL) as their baseline for lead & cadmium uptake. The levels are 0.5mg & 4.1mg daily, respectively. Now, these seem like rock-solid figures that we need to keep an eye on, right?

Wrong. Enter, “NOEL.”

NOEL is the no-observed-effect level of a test substance by the safety factor. NOEL is the highest dose level that results in no observable reproductive effect and is scientifically established with science and lab tests.

MADL is arbitrarily set 1000x lower than NOEL. MADL and the 1000x reduction is a ‘public policy decision’ and guideline, not a scientific one.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied cadmium uptake, which resulted in the findings which found the average dietary intake of cadmium in the US is 4.6 micrograms per day – this works out to be 112% of MADL – thus, this should not be the baseline figure that CR uses for the baseline in their reports.

MADL is also quite a bit lower than legal thresholds placed on food manufacturers (via Prop 65 in California & EU Regulations) as there are no federal regulations on this.

If you even look deeper into Prop 65, the thresholds have actually been increased over time, as the thresholds were initially set arbitrarily – yet this is still the “baseline” used.

CR TARGETS DARK CHOCOLATE ARBITRARILY

The segments in both the news and online appear to be maliciously targeting dark chocolate – but nothing is mentioned in the report regarding how the overarching food system as a whole faces this problem.

NIH posted an article “Dietary Cadmium Intake and Sources in the US” which does not solely target chocolate but discussed the food industry as a whole. “The food groups that contributed most to [cadmium] intake were cereals and bread (34%), leafy vegetables (20%), potatoes (11%), legumes and nuts (7%), and stem/root vegetables (6%). The foods that contributed most to total Cd intake were lettuce (14%), spaghetti (8%), bread (7%), and potatoes (6%)”

But this article specifically targets chocolate – we cannot speak specifically as to why, however we can speculate: Chocolate is a beloved product with a passionate following that will certainly generate more “buzz” on the topic than the other items listed above.

However, rest assured that chocolate continues to be a decadent, luxurious treat with known health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. Like all dietary decisions, learn the facts and decide what is best for you.

Chocolate can and should remain safely on your list of specialty foods for culinary and snacking enjoyment!

 THE HUMAN BODY & ITS BUILT-IN TOOLS

Now, we are not saying cadmium does not have an ill-effect in high doses.

The NIH states, “Due to the chronic nature of dietary Cd exposure, combined with the long half-life of Cd in the human body, Cd can accumulate in multiple tissue types, contributing to the development of cancer, kidney dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, osteoporosis, and increased mortality.”

However, the human body would have to surpass NOEL-defined intake, of which MADL is 1000x less than, of which CR is basing their “report” on.

CR also fails to mention the human body’s natural cleansing agents to assist in the body expelling cadmium.

Zinc, Magnesium and Selenium are minerals of which help reduce the toxicity of cadmium in the human body, and these are substantially present in cocoa.

This report in no way should affect your perception of or your actual consumption of chocolate.

Closing Notes:

The NIH links in this post are the same which are used in the CR piece – but CR cherry-picked specific quotes which work for their anti-chocolate argument.

Why is CR using MADL as their baseline instead of NOEL? This is a good question – if they used NOEL in the report, all levels in their baseline would be 900x+ higher than what they used, and there would be no article to write, as all detected levels are 900x or less than the NOEL baseline.

If you multiply the levels of cadmium and lead in CR’s findings by 1,000x, the majority bars in the “report” are still below acceptable NOEL levels (which are levels that show no ill effects).

What does this translate to?

A consumer could [try to] eat 900x of any chocolate bar listed in the CR report, in one sitting, and still have no ill-effect from cadmium or lead (but you may feel sick afterwards from all the sugar!)

We even saw Prop 65 increase their MADL baseline levels in the past, as they are arbitrarily set, who is to say this won’t happen again?

NOEL is the baseline to actually use in analyzing findings, and there is no concern despite the “scare for sport” content being posted about chocolate.

To keep in mind: writing this, we are not food scientists, but the folks coming up with NOEL data are NIH and the FDA, who are food scientists (all sources linked below). The folks coming up with MADL take NOEL and divide it by 1,000, arbitrarily. 

Trust data – not agenda-driven report findings.

Written by: Rob Delaney

Worldwide Chocolate

 

Sources

Lead and Cadmium Could Be in Your Dark Chocolate – Consumer Reports

Dietary Cadmium Intake and Sources in the US – PMC (nih.gov)

Cadmium toxicity and treatment: An update – PMC (nih.gov)

Chocolate, “Food of the Gods”: History, Science, and Human Health – PMC (nih.gov)

The mysterious world of Prop 65, part 8: Acceptable risk levels | Consumer products law blog

Agency Review of Toxicology Information in Petitions for Direct Food Additives and Color Additives Used in Food – fda.gov

 

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Antioxidants in chocolate, Heart Benefits and More!

By Red Thalhammer

healthy chocolate antioxidants heart

Healthy chocolate still sounds like a dream for many, but chocolate itself has not gained an official status of a health food yet. Super dark chocolate though is growing in reputation, as several studies indicate, here is a heart-healthy choice.

As revealed by these studies, chocolate and its primary ingredient, cacao, is heart healthy. Flavanols from cocoa beans deliver antioxidants thus repairing cell damage. These flavanols also help lowering blood pressure, boosting vascular functions, and help people to stay younger.

Antioxidants in Chocolate – The Studies.

Antioxidants protect cells and tissues from damage by free radicals. These radicals are unstable molecules that can weaken cells to a large extent. Antioxidants act as an effective insurance policy against these radicals that result in undue stress and aging.

The presence of cacao content in super dark chocolate like AntidoteChoco and the slow roasting methods used to prepare those chocolate bars boosts the presence of antioxidants in them. 

The amount of antioxidants, per dark chocolate serving, also showcased greater antioxidant capacity and higher flavanol and polyphenol levels compared to other fruits. Dr Debra Miller even remarked cacao seed to be a "Super Fruit" as it includes nutritional value beyond its composition.

How do Antioxidants Actually Help our Body?

Antioxidants are actually molecules that fight with free radicals in our body. Free radicals include compounds that cause undue harm when their number is too high in the body. The presence of free radicals is connected to multiple illnesses, such as diabetes, heart conditions, and cancer.

Your body possesses inherent antioxidant defenses to keep free radical count normal. Antioxidant preservatives also help food manufacturers to develop food with increased shelf life.

Without antioxidants, free radicals can cause serious harm to the body although in their normal count, they can serve important functions like fight infections. Maintaining a balance of free radicals and antioxidants is key to good health. When the count of free radicals outnumber antioxidants, it can lead to oxidative stress that can damage your DNA and other important body molecules. This factor increases cancer risk, and also accelerates the aging process.

Free radicals are formed due to several factors including air pollution, smoke from cigarettes, alcohol intake, high blood sugar levels, consumption of fatty acids, radiation, viral infections, intense exercise, and overall antioxidant deficiency. Expect negative health outcomes with excess free radicals including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Summary on benefits of antioxidants:

  • Antioxidants protect cellular damage caused by free radicals.
  • They cut down oxidative stress that can lead to cancer risks, vision loss, and other conditions.
  • Works as a radical scavenger, hydrogen and electron donor that boosts health.
  • Antioxidants also help people with premature aging, since it dispels free radicals that cause your skin to age quickly.
  • Antioxidant supplements help reduce vision loss resulting out of macular degeneration.

It safeguards DNA and other important body molecules necessary for optimal health.

Takeaways based on cacao content in super dark chocolate.

Cacao beans owing to its high antioxidants and fat content offers strong potential health benefits. AntidoteChoco with 70% to 100% cacao content thus is extremely healthy if consumed in moderation to balance calorie levels. Cocoa phenols found in the chocolate are compounds that reduce blood pressure.

Remember, this information is not a license to go on a chocolate binge :)

healthy chocolate antioxidants heart

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Luxurious Dark Chocolate Gift Bars: The Perfect Present for This Season!

By Red Thalhammer

Dark Chocolate Gift

Dark Chocolate Gift Bars - Antidote Chocolate

Dark chocolate bars to gift are the embodiment of delightful indulgence, an adventure in flavors, and a hit of bliss, making them the ideal present this holiday season! Whether you're hunting for hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, or seeking an exquisite after-dinner nibble, the opportunities to relish quality dark chocolate are endless!

In a world yearning for sweetness and solace, dark chocolate gift bars hit the sweet spot, offering both luxury and wellness. Here's why Antidote chocolate gifts will win your loved ones over:

Love is Dark Chocolate. No Exceptions.

Who can resist the lure of chocolate, especially when it's dark and presented with innovative flavor fusions? Dark chocolate has gained immense popularity, becoming a universal symbol of love, passion, and gourmet indulgence. It not only soothes our souls but also elevates our spirits, acting as a magical key to happiness due to the natural chemical compounds of cacao. Opt for true dark chocolate gift bars and ditch the mainstream sugary concoctions to experience elevated moods and positive vibes!

Gourmet Dark Chocolate: A Luxurious Yet Affordable Delight

Our innovative and artistic dark chocolate in beautiful presentation lend themselves naturally as gift bars and versatile delights that are suitable for every celebration. Each bar tells a story and can easily be matched with the characteristics of the person to receive. By gifting exquisite superfood chocolate you showcase your impeccable taste and consideration for your loved ones' well-being. Gift the luxury of sophisticated chocolate and innovative flavor fusions and earn a cherished place in their hearts for discovering a beautiful delight.

Dark Chocolate Bars: A Symphony of Nutrients and Flavors!

Antidote's Dark Chocolate Gift Bars are a treasure trove of nutrients, brimming with wholesome ingredients and rich cacao, yet low in sugar. These bars are not just mood enhancers but also packed with flavanols that combat premature aging. A piece of our dark chocolate, crafted with meticulous care, offers more antioxidants than a handful of blueberries! Gift bars with a minimum of 70% cacao content and go as high as you like. Due to the quality of cacao our bars will never be bitter as they are made with the prized Nacional Complex cacao within Direct Trade relationships that also pays farmers double of Fair Trade. Always premium and partially organic ingredients.

Immaculate Presentation with Gourmet Dark Chocolate

Choose from fifteen exclusive flavors to find the perfect one for every individual on your gift list! Based on story, color or message on the bar. Our meticulously designed packaging eliminates the need for additional wrapping, making each bar a ready-to-gift piece of beauty. Select bars topped with real fruits, pieces, spices, and various exciting flavor fusions based on individual preferences. Whether they love milk chocolate, are fans of almonds, coffee, ginger, or strawberries, we've got you covered!

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