Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Great Green and Black Scandal

A shocking discovery over the New Year period, as we were holed up in a Dorset farmhouse with nothing to do but eat and drink around the clock. (I put a slug of whisky in my cocoa at one or two points, which by my standards is really going off the rails). Anyway, after raiding the local Co-op for additional supplies of munchies and unloading all the goodies on the big kitchen table, I was forced to confront the dreadful truth: Green and Black's chocolate is no longer suitable for vegans. The mini-bars on sale in the Commons' tearoom are still OK at the moment, still marked 'Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans' but I suppose it's just a matter of time before supplies run out.

They've decided, in their wisdom, to add a sprinkle of 'organic milk power' to their dark chocolate and Maya Gold (haven't checked out the hazelnut and current one yet, or the cherry or mint). The Maya Gold also tastes sweeter somehow, which is what prompted me to have another look at the ingredients. I blame Cadbury's, who now own the company. And did they bother telling anyone? No. Not quite sure how they would have done, but are we really to be expected to look at the label every single time we buy something?

Obviously this is not quite on the scale of the great Mars Bars 'no longer vegetarian' scandal of 2007 when the company was forced into a u-turn after public exposure of the fact they'd started putting minced kitten entrails into their chocolate, or something along those lines. [Animal rennet, in case their lawers are reading this]. But it is very annoying.

While I'm "going on about being vegan on my blog" (copyright, Paul Smith), I might as well link to this Guardian story about Germans being told they should eat less meat to save the planet. Went to Germany in the days when I was 'only' a vegetarian. If you don't like fried eggs you're in trouble. Of course, it may have changed since then.

And finally, thanks also to the Guardian also for pointing out that 850 million chickens are killed for their meat every year in the UK. Which is a lot.


Dave H said...

(My emphasis)

"850 million chickens are killed for their meat every year in the UK. Which is a lot."

A bit crap, Kerry.

Kerry said...

Memo to self. Must remember who reads this blog.

Paul said...

Just think how much better it must be for you not to eat Chocolate

Kerry said...

70% cocoa chocolate is medicinal. Full of iron. Essential part of a nutritious diet.

Dashi at Temple Meads - makers of the best veggie sushi ever - are also stocking the vegan G&B mini-bars.

rapunzel said...

"70% cocoa chocolate is medicinal. Full of iron. Essential part of a nutritious diet."

Totally agree. It's like red wine, essential for a healthy, happy life.

I'm not a veggie, but got some Green and Black's mini bars for Christmas. I think the taste has changed, and not for the better.

Dave H said...

Yep, an ever expanding fan base drawn from the truly malicious.

But I maintain your sentence was a bit crap.

The RSPCA say it's 855 million. Phew, if it goes much higher we could be in heck of a lot territory.

In addition, pointing out that chickens are killed for their meat (what, not to make feather coats then?) means if anything the 'a bit' showed unusual leniency.

Did you know ordinary chocolate is really toxic to many animals e.g. dogs, cats, rodents, horses? Maybe the habits of the females caused humans to evolve a tolerance for it.

My main use for chocolate is to bait mousetraps (honest!). I use doggy chocs because they're a handy size/shape and cheap. Ironically they lack the toxic alkaloid and are thus safe for the mice to eat. Sorry, but it doesn't say on the packet if they're ok for Vegans. Perhaps you should make enquiries.

Kerry said...

I think doggy chocs are about humans projecting their own desires onto their canine friends. I'm sure most dogs would rather have melts.

Old Holborn said...

"Memo to self. Must remember who reads this blog."

Three people.

Northern Lights said...

Considering that about 12 people have commented on this blog tonight I would suggest that Old Holborn has got his figures wrong again.

Run out of fingers old son?

Kerry said...

I've always assumed you and OH were one and the same.

Northern Lights said...

What, like some kind of mental patient with multiple personalities?

Bristol Dave said...

but are we really to be expected to look at the label every single time we buy something?

Yes. Nut allergy sufferers have to, and they haven't even chosen not to be able to eat certain ingredients.

Kerry said...

Actually Dave, you're kind of proving my point. Two members of my staff have nut allergies, plus one intern. (One professes to be allergic to virtually everything except Pot Noodles). If they've found something which has for many years been OK for them to eat, they don't go checking the label everytime they buy it. Same with vegans - we look at new things, we don't look at our 'regulars'. Obviously it would be a lot more serious if G&B were suddenly putting nuts in products that don't usually contain them, and, as unlike in those scenarious, it's not a matter of life and death if a vegan accidentally consumes some 'organic milk powder' on occasion. But they still shouldn't do it.