Chocolate bunny. Photo © Michelle (pa1nt), via creative commons and flickr

Warning: The following contains information that may be disturbing to chocolate-lovers. Reader discretion is advised.

I hate to break it to you just as you nibble on your chocolate Easter bunny’s ear, but we’ve been misled.

Happily and willingly misled, but misled nonetheless.

Chocolate eggs. Photo © Emily McCracken, via creative commons and flickrThose expensive, for-adult-consumption-only Easter eggs you stashed out of the kids’ reach? They aren’t going to keep your teeth from falling out.

The dark chocolate bunny (85 per cent cocoa) you selected—expressly, I know—to help stave off the heart disease that lurks in your DNA? It won’t.

Neither will it help you out-debate your belligerent brother-in-law at the festive table this evening, nor remember the names of his three—or was that five?—ex-wives and their abundant broods that he’s invited along.

I’m sorry.

For two decades, we’ve heard that the taste-good, feel-good, go-to food we turn to for a legal dopamine fix when our bosses, brothers-in-law and kids infuriate us can help keep us healthy. Popular media celebrated every study that hinted at links between chocolate consumption and decreased tooth decay, improved memory, improved circulation, decreased risk of heart disease and strokes, lower body mass index, and so on.

The reports provided hope—and justification for indulging…..

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Chocolate bunny loses its ears. Photo © John-Paul Scoville, via creative commons. How odd that April and May are the only months lacking chocolate-celebration days. Perhaps the oversight is due to the surfeit of chocolate-related celebrations in preceding months—Chocolate Cake Day (January 27), Nutella Day (February 5), Valentine’s Day (you know…), Chocolate Mint Day (February 19), Chocolate Caramel Day (March 10), and Chocolate-covered Raisin Day (March 24).

Or maybe the lunar timing of (the unofficial) Eat Chocolate Easter Bunny Ears Day throws the makers, bakers, and shapers of chocolate goods off the scheduled promotion game. Easter, with its chocolate bunnies and eggs, is second in candy sales only to Halloween. The event presents an annual bonanza to chocolate makers and sellers, including those here in Victoria.

Yet, despite the rush on chocolate of all varieties and qualities, all has not been smooth, rich sweetness in Canada’s world of chocolate recently.

I’m not talking about the many local and artisan chocolate sellers in our region. Last year was an annus horribilis (mark the double “n” in that phrase, mind) for four of Canada’s biggest chocolate-candy dealers. In June, the Competition Bureau of Canada announced that, after a five-year investigation, it had uncovered evidence suggesting Nestlé Canada, Mars Canada, and ITWAL Limited, a national network of independent wholesale distributors, had attempted to fix prices of chocolate products in this country….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Chocolate bunny butt vs ears. Photo © card karma, - creative commons

Chocolate Cake… mmm, so tempting—so distracting! Photo © Hudson, The, on flickr

I elected to write about motivation for this week’s column. The Editors approved. How timely, they said. Think of all the new year’s resolutions made, by now quietly regretted but not yet abandoned.

Many people who started 2014 fired up with enthusiasm and good intentions may just now be experiencing the first second thoughts about goals hastily set and commitments rashly made. They may be feeling the first hints of—ugh! Not again!—regret and disappointment about persisting with those resolutions. They may be enduring the opening sequences of internal dialogues between “I should” or “I promised” and “It’s too wet/cold/hard/yummy” or “I’ll start again tomorrow.”

Right about now.

According to one online calendar of annual commemorative days, yesterday was Ditch Your New Years Resolution Day.

Which kind of makes it official. And just maybe provides that hint of permission we might have been searching for.

So, yes, a piece about motivation is timely.

Yet, while the ghosts of New Year’s resolutions soon-to-be-past stretch their guilt-lashing muscles, lace up their running shoes of remorse, and tune their taunting laments, I find myself not writing….

Read the rest of this editorial in the Victoria Times Colonist….