We no longer carry this product due to possible long-term harmful side
effects on human health. For more current information, search the web
for articles on the health effects on health of long-term consumption
of quantities or raw cacao beans.
Also, it seems that cacao beans that are generally advertised as raw aren't raw at all. Here's a letter from one of the suppliers.
Dear friends, customers and partners of Essential Living Foods,
This is a communication inspired by our need for transparency and integrity
with you our beloved partners and allies in the health and superfood
I would like to share with you information that we have recently uncovered about issues regarding the cacao powder
and butter processing from Ecuador and other parts of the world. We
have been traveling around the world gathering all of the evidence
necessary to make an accurate statement.
This is a continuation of our commitment to transparency and revealing true and detailed information about the superfoods we provide to you.
We recently discovered very disappointing news that our cacao powder and
butter supplier was misleading us about the “Low Temperature”
processing they were using to extract our powder and butter.
Fortunately, Essential Living Foods will soon be one of only two
companies distributing a TRULY verified RAW cacao butter & cacao
powder sourced from Bali Indonesia, pressed under 118 degrees.
The Truth about Cacao Powder and Cacao Butter
A few weeks ago, one of the world’s leading chocolate experts (an old
friend of ours) called to let us know he’d been interviewed for an
exposé article about the RAW cacao industry. Our friend had been asked
to sample all the leading RAW cacao powder and butter brands (including
Essential Living Foods) and to give his opinion about which cacao
powders and butters were truly RAW products—processed under 120 degrees
Soon after the taste test, our friend called to warn us that he didn’t think our cacao powder was raw at all. In fact, none of
the major brands he tasted could prove that their cacao powder was
processed RAW under 120 degrees F. He said there was only one
manufacturer (located in Bali) that had developed the machinery
necessary to produce a truly cold-pressed, RAW cacao butter and powder.
We were shocked to hear this, since we have a 6-year relationship with our
Ecuadorian cacao supplier, and from the beginning they assured us that
their cacao butter & powder were RAW, with special
temperature-control processes involved.
Because of our commitment to Transparency & Integrity, we had verified nearly everything
about our cacao products, visiting farms and cacao-bean-fermentation
co-operatives, cacao nib processors, and more over the years. Every
facility we ever visited was 100% Raw, Organic, and paying fair-trade
wages to its workers...but we had never been invited nor did we demand
to visit the butter/powder processing location.
We needed to know the truth for ourselves and our allies so we immediately
called our supplier to say that I was flying to Ecuador for a
face-to-face explanation. When I arrived, however, our supplier refused
to let me inspect their cacao-powder processing facility: shocking
behavior from someone we’d worked so closely with over the years. We
told them that even though they would not let us see the facility, we
would find it and get the full story for ourselves and our customers.
The next day, I took our infrared laser digital-thermometer and flew to
the largest cacao-processing city in Ecuador to meet with several
processing companies, one of whom turned out to handle our own cacao
powder and cacao butter! Though this facility was clean, and certified
organic, we found out that they extracted all cacao powder and butter
at temperatures no less than 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit!
We all know why this isn’t ideal: heat degrades many nutrients and
co-factors in foods, including antioxidants and enzymes. So why would
anyone press RAW cacao at these temperatures? Simple: the machines
constructed over the years to produce cacao butter and powder around
the world create high temperatures to reduce or eliminate microbes.
A Call for Transparency in the Superfood Supply Chain
This experience has inspired us to lead a movement to increase transparency in the superfood industry.Though certifications like Organic and Fair Trade are important, they don’t say enough about the quality of the food on your plate...or the
supply-chain that gets it there. How is your food harvested, processed
and transported? Is it carbon-neutral? Is it sold in ecological
packaging? Is it RAW? What impact does this product have on local
In closing, we appreciate your efforts to help us create a healthier world through super nutrition, an improved quality of life on small
organic farms and indigenous communities and promoting sustainable
organic agriculture across planet Earth.
Kipp L. Stroden
Essential Living Foods
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