April is Chocolate Month.

April is Chocolate Month

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

Here at the Vegan Society Aotearoa we have dedicated the month of April to chocolate. Easter approaches most years in April and our thoughts are turned towards eating chocolate, with shops packing their shelves with all sizes and shapes of chocolate. Look out for the dairy free versions of chocolate bunnies and eggs, they can be found in most stores, not just specialist health food shops.

What is vegan chocolate?

For many years the only reliably vegan source of chocolate was a dark chocolate (and sometimes not even that was vegan!), but veganism continues to explode on the food market and many companies now make a plant milk chocolate. This year we are holding our second Vegan Chocolate Awards! We are so blessed with an inundation of Kiwi made delicious chocolate in many varieties and forms, that it’s time to celebrate them all! We are assembling a delightful array of chocolates for the awards, so head over to the Awards page to read all about it!

Did you know?

Chocolate is vitally threatened by climate change. The cocoa bean grows in tropical regions and changing weather patterns are threatening world supply. It is essential that as many people as possible buy Fairtrade chocolate, to ensure the continuation of good management of cocoa crops. Buying organic is important too, as chemical pesticides leave residues which end up in the chocolate. Cocoa farming has led to deforestation in many West African countries, where most of the world’s supply comes from. Fortunately, here in New Zealand we have Samoa nearby, and our largest chocolate manufacturer sources its beans from Nicaragua and Ghana, as well as Samoa.

What is it about chocolate that makes it so universally loved?

The chemical components of chocolate include theobromine, caffeine, tryptophan and phenylethylalanine, which all work together to literally make you feel happy. Tryptophan helps our brains make serotonin and phenylethylalanine is what makes us feel giddy, excited, nervous, “in love”, no wonder we all love chocolate so much! In small amounts it is even beneficial for your heart and dark chocolate has a wealth of health benefits. Adding sugar and milk, (even plant milk) dilutes the effects of cocoa and thus dilutes the health benefits.

The Awards

If you love chocolate, you will love our Chocolate Awards, so head over to the page to see how you can help pick Aotearoa’s best chocolates. We are delighted to welcome all the way from Samoa, Floris Niu, a fourth generation cocoa farmer and chocolate maker, she brings a wealth of inside knowledge to the judging team.

•    We have already found our judges, thanks!

•    Let your favourite brand know they can now enter the second NZ Vegan Chocolate Awards, registration ends on 15th April.

•    The Awards will be judged on 24th April at Khu Khu Eatery in Ponsonby, Auckland

Do you make delicious vegan chocolate?  Register below!

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