Wednesday, February 18, 2009


After I did the posting before this one, I was pretty sure what I would include as I moved from
talking about individuals to the culture of chocolate and how it was exploding. But so much has been happening in just these few days, that my content is probably 75% different than planned.

And I can see this a my only real obstacle/challenge as I write CHOCOLATELOVE, my book on the health benefits of dark chocolate. By the time it gets into print and into bookstores, a lot
more stuff in the world of chocolate would have happened. So I will have to be even more careful that I only pick scientific and medical information that will hold up over time.

When I wrote PSYCHOLOGICAL IMMORTALITY, I was aware that the science of longevity was fast approaching critical mass, and figured the book's first third, all about science, including the first real discussion of free radicals and antioxidants in a mainstream book, would be outdated in two to three years. It took less than a year for many of the things these scientists predicted would take place in 5 to 10 years to happen. The science moved faster than it could be reported on.

In just the past week, TIME had a full page article on the efforts to save the Venezuelan criollo cacao bean. This article says the demand for fine, dark chocolate has increased almost 40% in the past three years.

Then, another full page article, this time in the February 14th San Francisco Chronicle (a lot of media coverage on chocolate in general for Valentine's day when almost 50% of all chocolate is sold) about something a friend recently told me, the creation of a brand new chocolate factory on Pier 17. More proof that smart people know dark chocolate is recession-proof. One of the
partners in TCHO is an actual rocket scientist, or at least designed software for NASA, Timothy Childs who said, "The whole premise of starting the company was that I wanted to do something that is profitable, fun, but also that touches people. I wanted to tell a story around a bean." I like that combination--Profitable. Fun. Touches people. It's exactly why I'm doing my Xocai business. I plan to talk to Timothy and his partner for my book, and tour their plant. His partner, Louis Rossetto, is the entrepreneur who created WIRED magazine and is using some of the $30 million he got by selling that to fund this new chocolate company TCHO (I love that Xocai won't now be the only chocolate with an exotic name!) Rossetto says,
"You have to invest humanity into your product."

And right after that, I came upon an ABC News report on the dangers facing the cocoa bean, which conceivably could become extinct without conservation measures. In a television report by ABC Newsman Bob Woodruff on Planet Green's "Focus Earth", the Nature Conservation Research Center was quoted as predicting that chocolate may become as rare and expensive as caviar in twenty years. Climate change is one of the factors affecting the farming and production of cocoa. At this point, I sure felt good about MXI already having purchased all the cocoa they need to produce their Xocai products through 2012.

As this show pointed out, cocao is not your traditional farmed crop. Unlike, for instance, most other crops grown commercially in the rainforests of the world, cocao does not involve clearing of the land. What you see when you visit a farm are cocoa trees underneath a forest canopy, underneath shade trees that are necessary to protect the cocoa beans. It's why I will be talking in my upcoming book, CHOCOLATELOVE, about how the increasing demand for dark chocolate may be the major factor in saving the rainforests. For cocoa to thrive and flourish,
the natural eco-system must be maintained and protected.

And finally, again a big coincidence, just as I had decided I must include a chapter on how dark chocolate can increase longevity--a sort of follow-up to my earlier book, PSYCHOLOGICAL IMMORTALITY, I came upon by serendipitous accident on, the story of the two ladies who have been certified as the longest living people ever, and both of them were chocoholics. Is that sweet or what?

Sarah Knauss of the U.S. died at the age of 119 in 1999. In France, Jeanne Calment died
in 1997 at the age of 122. Calment ate two pounds of chocolate a week until her doctor talked her into quitting at the age of 119. She was, by all reports, a feisty, witty lady until the end. One of my favorite quotes of hers, and a good ending to this post:

"I only have one wrinkle, and I'm sitting on it."

And if you'd like to explore being my prosperity partner in my Xocai healthy dark chocolate venture, or would just like a sample to taste for yourself, contact me directly at You can also see a short, great video on the website of my friend Susannah Lippman, at, click on Chocolate for Health, or check out my other friend Hope Kiah's blog at

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