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Don’t Let the FDA Change the Definition of “Chocolate”

Let me be honest here: I eat a lot of chocolate. More than I should, no doubt. But I love the stuff, and I’m not the only one. As umpteen-thousand brain studies have shown, real chocolate causes a wonderful cascading effect in the human brain…of joy and warmth and well-being and awesomeness.

If you agree on that point — the essential awesomeness of chocolate — I’d ask that you lend a hand. Take a second out of your day to tell the FDA not to water down the legal definition of “chocolate”.

As Cybele May writes in today’s LA Times and in her Candy Blog, a consortium of food industry groups is looking to widen the definition of chocolate to include products made from vegetable fats and oils…not just real cocoa butter.

You know what kind of “chocolate” that is. You’ve bitten into it and known immediately. It’s that fake, waxy, powdery “chocolate-flavored” stuff that sits there for weeks after the first bite…because it tastes like foot powder. It’s the weird-brand Easter bunny that no one wants. It’s the fake M&Ms that taste like pebbles. It’s the chocolate chip that tastes like a tooth filling gone wrong.

Giving food manufacturers the ability to label products under this expanded “chocolate” label doesn’t mean Nestle and Hershey and Cadbury will suddenly change their core recipes — they’d be fools to do it, in the worst tradition of Coke II. But it makes you wonder what future “chocolate” products will be coming down the line? Should we have to guess whether or not those products are actually chocolate? Of course not. So take a second, GO HERE and let the FDA know.

(Note: This being a bureaucratic process, the comment system is a bit impenetrable. So here’s a helpful guide to giving the FDA your comments.)