Save the world: eat the chocolate

7 Dec

             It was a warm, tranquil yet excited feeling.  Not a nervous kind of excitement, but a wholly satisfying, I’m-on-top-of-the-world and I-want-to-hug-the-next-person-I-see excitement.  No, I was not high- I was eating chocolate.  The sensational symphony of cocoa and milk melting on my tongue was perfect, and at that very moment, I had an epiphany: chocolate could solve the world’s problems.  First of all, the only truly happy country I can think of is known for its chocolate.  Second of all, almost anyone can associate eating chocolate with a good memory; I can’t think of any time in my life where chocolate has made me feel anything but euphoria.  Lastly, chocolate has recently been proven to promote heart health.  Why should we look any further for a solution to world peace?

            Ask anyone where the best chocolate comes from, and most of the time, the answer will be Switzerland.  Switzerland continues to pride itself on its mouth watering confection, and Swiss people consume the most chocolate per person every year.  No wonder they stay neutral in wars!  Our country and most others in the world are bitter towards each other; we are competitive, pompous war hawks, and this is a shameful truth.  I imagined experiencing my aforementioned chocolate high every day, and then I envisioned the happiness the world could attain if everyone ate more chocolate every day.  Clearly, by following the Swiss’ example, our country and many others would become more apt to refraining from warfare and violence.

            This past year, I have compiled a new collection of memories to cherish for the rest of my life.  From holidays to vacations, I have many recollections of times that were chock-full of feelings of well being and optimism towards the rest of the world.  In pursuit of a more consistent, positive frame of mind, I tried to correlate these joyful memories to find the link between them: the cause of my bliss.  The answer?  Chocolate.  My favorite, most recent memories include Halloween, Chanukah, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and a trip to New York City.  All of these great remembrances are inflected with the jubilation with which chocolate is so often associated.

One unforgettable memory is Halloween.  Halloween is a holiday invented purely to eat candy.  This past Halloween, I recall eating countless bars of chocolate as I carelessly tossed bags of Skittles and Jelly Beans out of my sight.  Although fall was upon us already, my heart, warmed by chocolate, protected me from the chilly autumn air. 

Winter brought Chanukah and Christmas, which were a blur of hot chocolate and gelt, or chocolate coins, and nothing but pure delight enters my mind as I fondly look back on these winter holidays.  Later, Valentine’s Day and Easter, two very different holidays, brought chocolate by the boatload.  Chocolate truffles on Valentine’s Day and chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs on Easter were successful formulae for pure ecstasy, and I will not easily forget the joy with which I was sure I could save the world as I savored each piece melting on my tongue. 

One of my most delightful chocolate experiences was the day that my family and I went into New York City with some close friends to a chocolate show.  Being the family foodie, I am incessantly perusing the web for food events, and this one seemed promising.  Upon arrival, we were ushered into a lobby, which connected to a long hallway.  The hallway was magical; various chocolate companies lined the passage on both sides, handing samples to the passers-by.  As my eyes widened, the idea that I was allowed to grab greedily at the hunks of dark, milk, white, and exotic chocolates manifested my brain.  Following my lead, my family pushed into the throng of chocoholics, and we trekked through the entire maze of vendors.  After I had eaten a sufficient amount of chocolate (though I admit to continuing my feast for a decent amount of time afterwards), I became aware of a sense of security, happiness, and oneness with the world.  All of the people in the crowd around me seemed to be content, and the sounds of their voices united into one lazy hum, such as that of a swarm of bees with bellies full of nectar.  For the rest of the day, I was saturated with the cliché yet perfect feeling of ‘peace on earth, good will towards men.’  I knew it was the chocolate, and I knew that the chocolate could save the world.

            Most people have ruled chocolate out of their lives as a result of the dieting hype of today, but from now on, that problem is no longer.  In my Foods and Nutrition class, I was assigned the task of researching oats for part of a project during our unit on grains.  However, being the distracted person I am, I soon found myself perusing a web sight about chocolate.  Preparing myself for an article berating chocolate for its high fat content, I was surprised to find a piece of writing that was much opposite my expectations.  Apparently, recent studies have shown, much to the thrill of the world’s population, that dark chocolate is heart healthy and elemental in fighting heart disease.  It is rich in antioxidants, and these help promote life health.  I was very excited after gaining this knowledge, and the next time I ate a luxurious dark chocolate, I was in instant, guiltless heaven.  From that day forward, I decided that health food wasn’t so bad after all. 

            Welcome to 2007.  Our country is fighting Iraq and obesity at the same time, and the only optimistic thing I can think is: my, we are good at multi-tasking.  As we slip pathetically from our once almighty and revered position among the many countries of the world, we scratch our heads, wondering how to right the sinking ship that is the United States of America.  I know.  Switzerland knows.  One word: chocolate.  Why question a good thing?  If chocolate has the power to promote life longevity, to give people peace of mind, and to keep an entire nation neutral in war, why not use it to our advantage?  Imagine a world without violence.  Imagine a world in which children were not surprised when their friends said, “I can’t play because I’m going to see my great-great-great grandmother today.”  Imagine the world the way it was meant to be.  By reaching out to chocolate as an answer, we are one step closer.

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