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Oh dear god, please don't tell me chocolate is killing the planet?

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Shanta Barley | 10:56 UK time, Thursday, 30 April 2009

Are you chocolate crazy, but also annoyingly aware that cocoa beans have to be cultivated in the tropics, shipped over to Europe, fermented, dried, roasted, ground and shaped into bars, wrapped in foil and finally driven to the sweet shop?

choc.jpgFret no more. Thanks to a new study, we can now at least make an informed choice about which type of chocolate has the smallest footprint, namely, dark chocolate. (And, no, the report wasn't commissioned by the Campaign to Boost Sales of Dark Chocolate, but by the German Aluminium Association.)

Every kilo of dark chocolate we scoff generates two kilos of greenhouse gas, making it twice as climate-friendly as the worst option, white chocolate, say the report's authors, Sybille Büsser and Niels Jungbluth.

The average Brit puts away a hefty 11kg of chocolate every year which means that (calculators at the ready) satisfying your cravings with dark chocolate rather than white chocolate can save as much CO2 as installing a green roof on a house in Britain. And it's considerably easier.

Dark chocolate apparently wins out because it doesn't contain milk powder, which is a carbon-intensive ingredient of white and milk chocolate. It's also less processed by virtue of not requiring the cocoa butter needed for other chocolates.

But as we recently discovered, obesity is potentially a major contributor to climate change, so go easy.


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