Position: Academica Tica, Coronado
Banana Spiders with golden webs, poisonous frogs hopping around and a sloth chilling in a tree; that’s how we were greeted by the animals at the chocolate farm. Rodolfo, one of the founders of Costa Rica Best Chocolate, showed us around and told us all about the animals we saw and the secrets of cacao production. He told us about how they buy all the cocoa from poor farmers, after checking that they aren’t using any pesticides.
This is how they are trying to motivate the people to be sustainable. 70% of all the cacao is growing in Africa and in 40 years, he said, there might not be enough cacao for everyone. But there are much more interesting facts about cacao.
Cacao brings health
Cacao beans are the seeds of the Theobrama Cacao tree, which means ‘Food of the Gods’ (Theo: God and broma: food). Since the Gods are mighty, cacao is also really mighty. The beans have theobromine in them, which is a heart stimulant, dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. This means that it gives you energy for a longer time. Moreover, it’s rich in minerals, which helps against diabetes and is great for your hair, nails and skin. The cacao butter itself is a healthy source of fat which is, again, good for your body.
Cacao brings happiness
Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a mood regulator and triggers happiness hormones. It increases focus and energy. This is also a reason why it’s used against depression symptoms.
Anandamide creates a feeling of euphoria and it regulates mood, memory, appetite and pain perception. As you see; it’s not a myth that chocolate is good for you!
But don’t get that wrong: the less the cacao is processed, the healthier it is!
By the way: 3-4 cacao fruits are needed for one chocolate bar.
Costa Rica Best Chocolate
At Costa Rica Best Chocolate the two founders, Geiner Huertas and Rodolfo Alvarado, want to do conservation through sustainable tourism. The chocolate they produce is not processed much, which is best for your health and happiness. In the chocolate tour they explain the people how chocolate is done, but also how the rainforest and wildlife is affected.
Conclusion: eat more chocolate!
For further information, check their website: www.costaricabestchocolate.com