October is Fair Trade Month, and we're celebrating with all things Fair Trade chocolate! Learn more about chocolate's surprising health benefits, what Fair Trade certification is, why Fair Trade cacao matters, and how you can support.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade is a word we see everywhere, but what does it actually mean? Fair Trade is a certification aiming to ensure certain environmental and economic standards are met when a product is farmed, manufactured, and distributed. It exists to protect the rights of farmers and workers globally, making sure they are paid fairly for their services all along the supply chain. Fair Trade certification means safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable incomes, and community development.
Fair Trade certification means safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable incomes, and community development.
1st Fair Trade Certified Cannabis Chocolate
At Grön, we are proud to be the first Fair Trade certified cannabis chocolate brand. Our chocolates are always made with the highest quality Fair Trade sourced cacao, certified by FairTradeUSA.org. Cacao is one of the most common items you'll see associated with the Fair Trade seal, and we're committed to sustainably sourced ingredients whenever possible.
Cacao is typically either shade or sun grown. Compared to sun grown methods, shade-grown cacao proves less harmful to the environment, preserving the tall forest canopy above the cacao trees. This helps sustain the delicate forest ecosystem and prevent erosion, enabling farmers to grow sustainably for years to come. Shade-grown cacao is also far more resilient to market fluctuations, as the biodiversity on a shade-grown cacao farm protects the crops and helps them be more resilient to unstable and extreme weather conditions.
The History of Cacao
The first known uses of cacao date back to the Aztecs and Mayans, ancient cultures who have been using cacao in ritual ceremony for thousands of years. It is known as 'the food of the gods', and there is evidence it was at one time used as currency by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. Since its discovery, cacao is most popularly known as the key ingredient in chocolate.
Throughout history, chocolate has always been heavily sought after and traded around the world. However, it wasn't until the Victorian era that chocolate ' bars' as we know them today first made an appearance. The inside of the cacao pod is scraped out, fermented, roasted, de-husked, and blended together with sugar - and sometimes milk - ready to be poured into a cast and set in the shape of a chocolate bar. Fascinating, right?
Chocolate contains anandamide, known as nature's 'bliss molecule', which is very chemically similar to cannabinoids.
The Health Benefits of Chocolate
You might be surprised to find that chocolate has a whole host of health benefits! Although it is widely considered to be an indulgent sweet treat, dark chocolate provides a wealth of great nutrients and antioxidants. Let's dive into a few...
Chocolate contains naturally occurring anandamide, known as nature's 'bliss molecule'. Anandamide is very chemically similar to cannabinoids, binding to the body's endocannabinoid system receptors much like CBD and CBN to help stimulate mental wellness and stabilize mood.
Theobromine is a naturally occurring compound found in chocolate. Evidence suggests that theobromine can help in reducing inflammation, promoting heart health, and improving cognitive function.
Antioxidant is a word we see everywhere - and for good reason! Antioxidants are magical compounds present in most superfoods. You guessed it, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is packed with powerful antioxidants.