Responsible and delicious chocolate

Modern science practices are concerned not only with the scientific results, but doing so in a socially conscious and responsible manner, minimizing external impacts. For example, recent papers including Strubell, Ganesh, McCallum 2019 “Energy and Policy Considerations for Deep Learning in NLP arXiv note the surprisingly large impacts ML/AI is having and most frighteningly will have on energy consumption. This is apparently such a sensitive topic that a tech ethics leader pushing back on this topic was abruptly fired. The American Geophysics Union (AGU) reorganized sections including Science and Society and GeoHealth oriented around the intersection science has with human well-being and government policies.

Drilling down to the individual layperson, we’ve all heard about making individual choices such as recycling, despite some critical challenges in plastic recycling and the huge plastic ocean patches. It could seem like every step forward is accompanied by another externalization. Nonetheless, if we turn a blind eye to matters such as child slavery in chocolate production the world and its people become even more degraded.

This is where companies creating products with a systems approach to product quality and minimizing external costs are playing an increasing role. As the world sees the possibilities of eliminating the pandemic from many areas (respecting those areas that will still struggle for years) in 2021, and the other vital social awakenings that took place in 2020, responsible food production is another pillar of human hope. Goodnow Farms chocolate production appears to be a shining example of top-quality confectioneries that considers the whole cacao lifecycle. Each chocolate type has an associated story and photo book on the Goodnow Farms website, showing the local farmer’s process. Rather than cheap, alkalized and possibly child slave produced chocolate, consider this kind of chocolate ecosystem not only for gifts, but year-round.

I have not regularly consumed hot cocoa because I didn’t much care for the flavor. I am also not a coffee drinker, so that may have been a factor. I tried Goodnow Farms Hot Cocoa “House Blend” and was delighted by the completely distinct flavor experience. The notional measure is three tablespoons cocoa to one coffee cup of hot milk. I noted that the milk should be really hot to properly dissolve the cocoa.