Chocolate grows on trees…you knew that, right?
Chocolate is made from cacao seeds that have been roasted and ground and then produced in liquid, paste or as a block that most of us love to eat or to use as a flavouring.
The use of chocolate probably dates back to 1900 BC with the Olmecs of Mexico and then part of the culture of the Mesoamerican, Maya and Aztec peoples.
The Olmecs were the earliest known major civilization in Mexico following a progressive development in Soconusco. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
With the international demand for the chocolate, the producing countries have always been under pressure to clear native land to cultivate the cacao trees. As a result, chocolate production has often had a negative impact on sustainability.
Columbia, one of the major producers, has now joined two other countries to commit to producing cocoa without deforestation in the next two years. The Columbia Government has signed up to the “Cocoa and Forests Initiative” which aims to change all of the industry to move this way.
How it’s done
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Images credit: Pixabay Creative Commons