Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bored by chocolate

Yes, you read that right. I’m official bored with chocolate and I’ll tell you why.

I read too much about it.

A couple weeks ago I ordered The Healing Powers of Chocolate by Cal Orey. I thought it would be fun and informative and give me lots of good excuses to eat my favorite food. I had visions of curing all my common ailments with a Hershey Bar or pound or two of good ‘ol Jersey Shore fudge.

As it turns out, according to the author, who also penned The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, chocolate can cure a host of complaints from acne to weight gain. You could probably convince me that chocolate is not responsible for pimples [who doesn’t want to believe that?] and that chocolate in moderation will not make you fat, but the extensive list of ills found in the chapter titled ‘Home Remedies’ also includes much less believable items such as Economic Stress and Universal Emergency. When an author has to reach for stuff like this to fill up a list, her credibility hits the skids as far as I’m concerned.

Overall the book is a lighthearted look at how awesome chocolate is. I can’t argue with that, and yes, I certainly agree it’s not the root of all evil as so many diets would have us believe. But after slogging through the first 200 pages, I’m pretty much done with my journey through chocolate’s healing powers. I should have given up on page 71 in the middle of the list of herbs that can be added to chocolate. The author includes Marshmallow [the plant Althaea officianalis] for its ability to sooth a sore throat or an upset stomach. That’s cool. But she lists dark chocolate topped with marshmallows as a way to get this healing effect. Um...marshmallow may be a plant with curative powers, but marshmallows are made of SUGAR. They might make you feel better because they’re yummy, but they’re not herbal.

My take home message from the book is something I already knew: Chocolate is not bad for you. My life without chocolate would be much less happy and much less healthy, so I’m not ever giving it up...but I can do without the book, thanks.

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