Want to know who exactly we’re referring to when we talk about Big Chocolate?
At first glance, the casual observer might cast his or her gaze in the direction of the Prock Chocolate Corporation, that “legendary” and “iconic” company that has been manufacturing sweet treats since 1865. This, people, is only the tip of the iceberg.
Were the observer to look further, he or she would see a vast, toxic ecosystem steering children, our most precious resource, into a lifetime of unhealthful decision-making and habits.
Who, for example, are the advertising, marketing and public relations firms— those loyal “retainers” in the Barons of Big Chocolate’s royal court—who craft the sleek and seductive advertisements, reckless consumption-inducing promotions, and clever soundbytes?
Who are the silk-suited lobbyists along Washington’s K Street corridor, paid lavishly to derail efforts to protect our children?
Who are the other members of the supply chain who benefit from increased chocolate consumption? What do we know, for example, about the candy wrapper-manufacturers, whose products occasionally litter our schoolyards and sidewalks; or the cocoa-plantation operators in developing countries; or the soy lecithin farmers and manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup and other additives?
And what about the third-party shippers who clog our highways and expand our carbon footprint, delivering chocolates to grocery stores, convenience stores, school and workplace vending machines, and restaurants?
And, finally, let us not forget the retailers, whose in-store displays are strategically positioned near the checkout counter and deliberately built short (like children), thus guaranteeing that Big Chocolate’s insidious product offering will be most alluring to its prey.
At COCOH, we will be introducing readers to the various actors in the Prock Chocolate Corporation’s ecosystem—whether they want you to meet them or not.
Concerned citizens, parents, community leaders and public policy actors who follow our efforts will soon have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether this industry is merely the innocuous purveyor of ‘life’s little pleasures’ that it wants us to believe it is …or is not.