We All Must Stop the French from Declaring Chocolate Dangerous

© Hans Gissinger

The French government is on a mission to change the way its citizens eat, and chocolate is on the chopping block. The health ministry wants to start putting color-coded labels on food indicating whether or not it is healthy to eat. Fruits and vegetables, for example, would get a green label, meaning they are good for you, and chocolate would get a red one, meaning you should limit or avoid eating it altogether. The plan is a bit surprising for a country whose cuisine is beloved for its butter, cream and chocolate. A chocolate mousse without the chocolate is just a mousse, and who wants that?

Needless to say, not everyone is thrilled with this idea. The French Confederation of Chocolate and Pastry Makers is up in arms over the proposed classification of its body of work as bad for a person’s health. In an open letter to the health minister, members are quick to point out that chocolate does not make eaters fat, and because it is rich in polyphenols, it actually prevents fat cells from forming (there is some evidence of this). Instead of encouraging people to eliminate chocolate completely, the chocolatiers want to see a more positive education program telling French citizens how much chocolate is healthy to eat. That sounds like a much better idea to us. If you want to raise your voice in defense of chocolate, the French chocolatiers have a petition you can sign here.

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