The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

Growing the Cocoa Bean  |   Varieties of Cacao  |   Crop for Shipment  |   How to Make Cocoa Powder
Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
Eating Chocolates  |   Growing Chocolates  |   Chocolates just for kids


Why Everyone Should Consider Eating Raw Foods For Better Health

Sometimes I wonder why I keep reading up on healthy ways to cook and eat. Every time I do I find something else that I'm doing wrong and it's usually bad enough to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The discoveries that I made today are no different. I found out that it's dangerous to use plastic to cover the food while you heat it up in the microwave because it's been shown to cause cancer. I also found out that I shouldn't be freezing bottles of water before I drink them. I should have known, since one of my favorite things is icy cold water and I like to freeze the bottles and drink them as the water melts.

I'm beginning to believe that scientists have found my list of favorite foods and are hard at work to ruin it for me. If it were not for trying to make sure my kids are fed in a healthy way, I'd stop my research and just eat what I wanted to. Unfortunately I have a duty to them, so I read on. Another thing I read about is the benefits of raw foods.

I guess you're wondering why that should upset me. It upsets me because I always thought that if there was one thing I was doing right, it was the way I handled fresh fruits and vegetables. We've all heard the warnings of making sure that before consuming them, they were thoroughly washed since harmful toxins and pesticides could be clinging to them.

I had already been doing this, since I had no confidence that the stores were washing all the dirt off of them. Let's not even talk about how many other people might have handled them before they came home with me. The mistake I've been making is by cooking them so thoroughly. Research has found that heat hurts the molecular structure of the vegetables, making them less healthy for you.

I won't pretend not to know that cooking vegetables reduces the vitamins and minerals in them. What I didn't know and was horrified to learn was that it actually changes the molecular structure into a toxin that actually attacks our systems. Go figure.

Here I am, thinking I'm feeding my family a healthy diet and instead I find out that I'm feeding them food that is not only not contributing to their health, but harming it as well. Who would have thought that? Well, at least now that I'm informed I can be more careful about how I prepare foods. Maybe I should just serve salads and ice cream. Salads have raw, healthy vegetables and ice cream is a dairy product and dairy contains nice, healthy calcium, right? Works for me.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Delicious Food Gifts at


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