What Is Organic Chocolate?
Anything 'organic' is all the rage these days, and that includes chocolate. But what is organic chocolate, and what makes it so different from conventional chocolate? Is it really healthier for you than the typical chocolate you usually find at the store?
If you are unfamiliar with organic, natural chocolate, then you're in luck. Today, we are going to explore the differences between organic chocolate and conventional chocolate. We'll go over the benefits of organic, and why it's so much better than the typical stuff you get at the store.
Plus, we're going to tell you where you can find the best organic chocolate there is, so make sure to read to the end!
What Is Organic Chocolate?
Simply put, it is chocolate that is grown and produced using ingredients, farming methods, and manufacturing processes that are in compliance with the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) organic standards. The ingredients in this type of chocolate are cultivated on certified organic farms that follow strict pesticide and labor regulations.
Cacao trees are highly susceptible to pests and diseases, and devastation can spread quickly across a cocoa farm. Therefore, regular cocoa farmers have to rely on heavy pesticide usage to maximize their crop yield. Unfortunately, a high amount of chemical use in farms can cause harmful effects on both humans and the environment.
Organic cocoa farmers, on the other hand, use sustainable agricultural practices and integrated pest management systems to protect their crops from pests. Many farmers use cover crops to give shade to sensitive cacao trees, nourish the soil, and increase the biodiversity of the farm. As a result, they create a balanced ecosystem between plants and animals, leading to a lower risk of pests and diseases.
These strict practices also apply to other ingredients found in organic chocolate, such as sugar, maple syrup, nuts, and dairy.
Is Organic Chocolate Non-GMO?
Science has not managed to develop genetically engineered cocoa beans yet. However, you can find many genetically engineered ingredients in conventional chocolate, including sugar, corn syrup, and soy lecithin (an emulsifier).
Organic chocolate must contain cocoa beans and other ingredients that have not been genetically modified or engineered. So, yes - if a chocolate bar has that organic label on it, it is likely non-GMO, too.
Is Organic Chocolate Dairy-Free?
Not all organic chocolate is dairy-free. There are many organic milk chocolates out there. As you likely already know, these contain dairy. Manufacturers use milk to create a creamy texture and offset the bitter taste of natural cocoa. So, if you are vegan, lactose-intolerant, or simply do not want to consume dairy, you can opt for organic dairy-free chocolate.
Want to know more about how dairy-free chocolate is made? Read all about it on our blog!
What Is The Difference Between Organic Chocolate and Conventional Chocolate?
Conventional chocolate is made from ingredients that are non-organic, meaning they are produced using fertilizer/pesticides, farming methods, and production processes that don't meet organic standards. Traditional chocolate, therefore, is not always cruelty-free, pesticide-free, or sustainably produced.
Organic chocolate, on the other hand, contains ingredients that follow strict government-imposed organic standards. As we mentioned above, the ingredients in this type of chocolate are farmed and processed using sustainable and environmentally-friendly methods.
All things considered, organic chocolate is much better for you than your regular chocolate. We wrote an entire blog post on this topic. But, we'll summarize the health benefits of an organic lifestyle for you below:
What Are The Health Benefits of Organic Chocolate?
Apart from the fact that it contains no harmful ingredients, here are the other health benefits of consuming organic chocolate bars:
Improved brain function
According to studies, consuming organic chocolate may help improve one's brain function. This is because of the high levels of flavanol, a plant-based substance found in organic cocoa beans. Flavanols have been shown to help improve blood flow to the brain and heart, which may be the reason for their positive effect on brain function.
Organic dark chocolate contains higher levels of cocoa and lower amounts of sugar and fat. Higher cocoa content means organic chocolate contains higher levels of flavanols. In contrast, regular chocolate consists of higher amounts of sugar and fat, which dilutes both cocoa and flavanol levels. Most conventional chocolate products also contain artificial flavoring, which can lower flavanol levels as well.
A 2011 study on young adults found that participants who consumed organic chocolate demonstrated better memory and reaction time than participants who consumed white and milk chocolate. A similar study was conducted on adults aged 50 to 69, which showed similar results.
Fewer sugar crashes and lower risk of diabetes
Regular chocolate contains more sugar. When you eat sugar, your pancreas produces more insulin, which allows glucose to enter your body's cells. The more sugar you consume, the more insulin your body produces. As a result, your glucose levels drop because of the high amount of insulin in your bloodstream, which leads to lethargy--also known as a sugar crash.
Organic chocolate uses less sugar than non-organic chocolate. In addition, many organic companies avoid the use of high fructose corn syrup. Not only can high fructose corn syrup cause a sugar crash. But, consuming it regularly can also increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Feel Fuller After Eating The Chocolate
Studies show that consuming high fructose corn syrup increases your appetite. So, when you eat regular chocolate, it may be difficult to stop even after you are full. Your brain wants you to eat more of it, which can lead to overeating and obesity.
Organic chocolate, on the other hand, is better at inducing satiety. You feel satisfied much sooner, meaning there is less urge to eat more. As such, organic chocolate makes great diet treats.
Does Organic Chocolate Taste Different?
Like many other people, you might be wondering if organic chocolate tastes different from other types of chocolate. Well, the answer varies from person to person.
If you are a true chocolate lover, you will be able to tell that organic chocolate tastes richer and has a lingering effect on the taste buds. The texture is also quite different; richer and silkier than your regular chocolate bar. This is because organic chocolate usually contains cocoa butter instead of the vegetable oil that most traditional chocolates have.
But which one tastes better? The answer is entirely subjective, so you have to try organic chocolate to find out!
How Can You Tell if Chocolate is Organic?
Now that you know why organic chocolate is far superior to conventional chocolate, it's time to learn how you can determine if chocolate is organic or not.
You simply have to look for the USDA Organic Seal on the packaging. If it has this seal, it means that the ingredients in the chocolate are all organic. Chocolate companies have to work rigorously to obtain this seal, so if you see it on the packaging, it means that the product has passed the USDA's strict standards and regulations.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in The Healthiest Way Possible With MidDay Squares
All things considered, organic chocolate is better for you than the usual big-brand chocolates. More than that, it's also better for the environment, the farmers, and the chocolate industry as a whole. So, if you finally want to make the switch, there is no better place to start than MidDay Squares.
Our organic chocolate bars offer healthy, guilt-free treats that are sure to satisfy even the most notorious sweet tooth. Get a starter pack today and discover your favorite flavor. Or if you want to go all out, purchase a 12-pack of our bestsellers!