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Posted by BusinessWire (a Berkshire Hathaway company - BH also owns See's):

LOS ANGELES, Dec 08, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Intentional Chocolate's Organic + line is the first ever chocolate to be certified organic, use cocoa from Rainforest Alliance farms with the added bonus of carrying the official Intentional TM certification. The Organic + dark line is also certified Vegan and Kosher and is gluten free.

The press release goes on to state:

The chocolates [are] embedded with this new ingredient "Intention" have been shown to significantly decrease stress, increase calmness, and lessen fatigue in those who consume it. This is the result of findings from a scientific pilot study conducted by The HESA Institute (Human Energy System Alliance) and a full year of consumer testing. With the introduction of this groundbreaking new product, creator and founder Jim Walsh aims to create an entirely new category of chocolate that both enhances its already beneficial qualities and brings our understanding of nutrition to another level. Breakthrough licensed technology helps embed the focused good intentions of experienced meditators and then infuses those intentions into chocolate -- some who have trained with the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama himself stated, "I think this chocolate will bring great happiness to mankind." Their hope with Intentional Chocolate(TM) is to reintroduce this ancient wisdom and galvanize a shift in the food industry to bring greater health and food that restores us, renews us and heals us.

An interesting historical footnote here is that Intentional Chocolate creator and founder Jim Walsh was behind the somewhat infamous Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate company. The HVC web site is still up and running and is a confusing mish-mash of the original HVC vision and its new intentional direction. Can anyone tell me what's unusual about their singular farming method?

Apart from all of the other claims, any thoughts on "intentional" chocolate and what a "breakthrough licensed technology helps embed the focused good intentions of experienced meditators" might look like? I am also kind of wondering if this happens before tempering and if the good intentions get locked in as the chocolate crystallizes ... or if the meditating over the chocolate happens after.

Your (intentional) thoughts?

Full release here.

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PT Barnum would be laughing his ass off if he wasn't dead.

This appears to be nonsense to me.  Singular farming method is typical from what I know and the chocolate is expensive. 

exactly. Its a marketing ploy to sucker gullible new agey types.....consider the source....

this interested me because i am a long time meditator, and meditation has been shown to have measurable physical effects.....on the brains of meditators.  whether those effects can be passed on to other entities in debatable, no scientific evidence exists that i know of, just a lot of new age mumbo jumbo.  the "peer reviewed" article they refer to on their website is from the September 2007  issue of "explore, the journal of science and healing". the abstract did not impress and i'm not going to spend $12 to read the whole thing. it might or might not be real science.

but more importantly, with this as with most raw chocolate, as with many chocolates that tout "social consciousness" loudly, there is one glaring problem.  from their web page:

  • The company’s core mission is to do no harm and benefit others. At the highest level the brand resonates with consumers seeking to lead a more purposeful life
  • The strategic advantage is an innovative technology that embeds the intentions of advanced meditators into chocolate and bridges the gaps between spirituality and science. This is the first mind matter product in the market
  • The target market addresses a market segment that is being described as a mega-trend by 76% of executive’s worldwide, health and well-being. A recent Youtube video about Intentional Chocolate™ received over 150,000 hits in a 48-hour period.
  • The company’s products facilitate individuals and organizations in expressing their deepest emotions to their loved ones, such as I love you, I miss you, thank you. In addition, these offerings represent consumers’ core values about the interconnectedness of the world and our relationships to one another.
  • The company intends to build purposeful partnerships through on-line retail, social networking and intentional fundraising distribution channels.
  • The unanticipated business model for Intentional Chocolate™ is grounded upon the principle of offerings not outcomes. This is our expression of love: 20-50% of net profits will be reinvested into purposeful partnerships and intentional causes for the benefit of mankind.
  • To walk the talk and express an attitude of gratitude our first offering to an intentional cause is to help the Dalai Lama in supporting a learning center at the Deer Park Buddhist Center in Oregon, WI that envisions an ongoing dialogue between Eastern and Western scientists about the nature of consciousness.

IT SAYS NOTHING ANYWHERE ABOUT TASTE!!!  chocolate is food!  if taste doesn't come first then i don't buy the model.  put aside all the environmentally / socially responsible and/or new age verbiage from any number of thousands of food products, be it organic, fair trade, RA, UTZ, intentional, ethical, raw, whatever, if it doesn't taste good people won't want to eat it.  so if they don't start with taste and then go to the new age stuff, it probably isn't all that good and not much of their "intention" will make it into consumer's bodies.  things tend to go where they're aimed and if the aim is "do no harm," not "make great chocolate," well, you'll get harmless mediocre chocolate probably.

As some may have noticed, last month Jim Walsh was sued by Deepak Chopra for fraud.  Carla Martin--a postdoc fellow at Harvard with an abiding professional interest in chocolate--posted something of a dossier on Walsh at her web site, Bittersweet Notes.  She concisely covers all of the bases: the Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate scandal, the formation of Intentional Chocolate and spurious claims on its behalf, the failed (and possibly fraudulent) Maya Biosana project in Mexico, the HESA Institute (a shell of a new age think tank that eventually became entangled with the Chopra Foundation), culminating in Walsh's teaming up with Deepak Chopra to release a co-branded, intentionally infused chocolate bar.  

The chocolate world is full of fraud and craziness, but this story combines the two and turns the dial to eleven.  Check out Dr. Martin's post here.

Scott

Scott -

Thanks for the update on this. Given Walsh's history (which Dr Martin lays out in exquisite detail in her post), I have trouble believing that anyone would do business with him. I have never met him, so maybe he's intensely charismatic. I have met people like that and I know intelligent, diligent, investors who've plunked down large chunks of cash on things that, to someone with some inside knowledge of chocolate would know instantly to be false.

I see that the article was updated today with some new photos posted by Steve DeVries of the Biosana project. Kudos to all who are working to expose what appears to be a huge fraud and con.

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