Research also shows that the habit contributes to deforestation.
Cocoa and chocolate is consumed almost entirely in developed countries.
The beans from which chocolate is made are grown in less developed countries in West Africa, Asia, Central and South America.
Many of the farmers growing cocoa in these countries live in poverty.
They receive only about three percent of the price of a chocolate bar and the more chocolate people consume, the more they suffer, researchhas shown.
A number of social, economic and environmental issues including human trafficking and child slave labour have arisen in the production of this luxury crop.
Every year, more than five million family farms in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Indonesia and Brazil produce about four and a half million tons of cocoa beans, according to the World Cocoa Foundation.
Ghana and Ivory Coast supply more than 70 percent of the world’s cocoa.
Studies have shown that when countries are encouraged to pursue economic growth through an over-reliance on export agriculture, there are negative social and environmental consequences.
Researcher Mark Noble explainsthat coffee and chocolate used to be exclusively grown in semi-shade conditions. They have now been found to contribute more to deforestation.
“Now increased demand and more industrial growing practices are leading to pressure on forests where this was not the case in prior decades,” Noble said.
– Originally published HERE .