Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Expensive Chocolate

I was contemplating the recent purchase of Britain's Cadbury by Kraft Foods for 19.5 billion dollars. That seems like a high price to pay for chocolate. But where my mind really wandered to was the ingredient differences and the quality between U.S. and Europe.

I love chocolate, but I never liked Cadbury. My husband would see it in the store and suggest it, and I'd steer him to something else. He'd be surprised and say that Cadbury was considered a very good chocolate in France (birth place). "Really?"

Then Danny brought home a Cadbury bar from one of his flights to England. He offered a bite. I hesitated but tried. "Oh, my gosh, where have you been all my life?" It was good. Out of curiosity, I saved the wrapper and later compared it to the American version. Same wrapper, different ingredients. The American version had cheaper quality ingredients. I wish I had them to show you. This was a long time ago, and I no longer have the wrappers.

This also happened with a can of Coke. Danny brought one home from England. Not that soda is ever healthy, but England's Coke had real ingredients. For example, it had sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. HFCS, if I recall, is banned in Europe, or parts of Europe. The can was also smaller.

Why do we Americans still put up with inferior ingredients like HFCS and partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat aka hydrolyzed protein)? Is it a cheaper way to feed the masses or a lucrative industry to make billions?

Junk is cheap. On my binge the other day, I couldn't resist the super jumbo Butterfingers (bigger than large) for ONLY $0.30 each. And those Little Debbie's: each box was only a dollar-somethin' for all of those little cakes. What a deal! What a bargain!

But how much did I really pay when I ate them?


  1. Really interesting! Wish you had kept that wrapper! Yes, cheaper ingredients & people will buy that cheap stuff that seems like such a deal until it hits the bod.. OH NO!

    Loved that little saying at the top.. too funny!

  2. My kryptonite is Litte Debbie Cosmic Brownies. I can't stop once I start on this little buggers. LOL

    Let me ask you about Cadburry. Is that the same as the Cadburry Eggs they have at Easter time? those are kinda yuck. I'm assuming you're talking about a chocolate bar. And yes it's very interesting how different America is... :(

  3. I do like Cadbury (fruit and nut bar!) as compared to Hershey's. But I plough through those fruit and nut bars, so I buy Lindt-- there's a pear chocolate that's fab, and Ghirardelli (don't ask me to spell it right) semisweet chips.

    Did you ask your DH about peddling through sauerkraut? Did I remember that particular metaphor right?

  4. I knew that about the soda, it's the same thing in Sweden. My mother in-law for example drinks a lot of Coke in Sweden but don't like Swedish pepsi but we always buy pepsi here and every time she comments on how pepsi tastes so much better over here. I'm sure the HFCS makes it a little sweeter or something. I wish they would stop with all the HFCS, it's everywhere :(.

  5. AFG - Yeah, I was talking about the purple-wrapped chocolate bar, and I believe it's the same company that does the eggs (I don't care for those, either. Same with Palmer's chocolate that puts out the Easter bunny's and different cheap holiday chocolate...yuck.

    Larkspur - I'm so sorry, I had forgotten to ask. I just asked now. You used it correctly. He thinks it means to wade, splash-about...get your wheels stuck and spinning in the mud.

  6. Anna - Wow! Interesting that she likes it better here. I'm sure the original recipe for Coke way-back-when didn't have HFCS.

  7. Great investigative work!!! Even "my" Hershey
    bars seem to have lost something over the years (during ownership changes since the '50s?), although they're STILL my favorite chocolates :)

  8. HM- I thought something was different! Even the kisses seem waxier to me.

    Love your name! I used to love dipping Hershey bars into hot cocoa and eating off all the melting chocolate. (Must erase that from my mind).

  9. Yeh, I think maybe they change the formulas from time-to-time to keep up with current trends, but, for me, I think maybe my tastebuds have changed over the years. For instance, when I was younger, I liked Miller High Life beer, but the last few times I tried it, not so much.

  10. Great example of how the manufacturer's of America can cheapen things. And you are right - we do stand for it.

    One time we bought a Rowenta iron which we had purchased before. It was awful! We got the cheaper version of it and realized it said, "Made in China." We returned it to the store and bought the next model up. Where was it made? "Germany" - never had a problem with that one.

  11. That is really interesting about the chocolates! I had no idea about the HFCS either. You are right, there should be something done about it!

  12. Kinda off the subject, but still on the weight loss aspect of some of this, have you heard about applying the idea of "diminishing returns" to weight loss? Seems that whatever you do at the start of a weight-loss program will have diminish- ing returns and that in order to keep on losing you have to keep incorporating ad- ditional steps. Like, if you cut out soda as an initial step, you'll lose for a while, but then your body hits a balance and you stop losing. Then you've got to cut out something else if you want to keep the losing going. I guess that makes sense, 'cause as your body gets smaller, it needs less nourishment to get by with. wottayathink?

  13. CH- Oh, yeah, it definitely contributes to the plateau stage. It can be frustrating and possibly defeating if your goal is strictly getting thinner. I'm at the beginning of my fitness journey, so I have LOTS of little steps to take. :) When I get to the point of having diminishing returns, I hope I can visualize the internal benefits of continuing the wonderful, healthy changes I've made.

    Thanks for pointing that possibility out. It prompted me to think about it and be aware and to have a plan (not to give up because the exercise and good foods will help me physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. even if it seems I've hit a plateau).

    Thanks for visiting!