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Raw Integrity Blog

RAW INTEGRITY - February 29, 2011

vanessa barg

Dear Friends,

Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote recently on raw chocolate and the raw food movement. The full article and forum can be found if you scroll to the bottom of this excerpt. Please take a moment to post a comment!!! Thank you.


When I founded Gnosis Chocolate in 2008, I could hardly have imagined we would be making raw chocolate for people all around the world!  Since the very beginning, I have been committed to making the most nutritious chocolate possible. As a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, my passion is helping people to enjoy the process of becoming healthier and having a fulfilled life. In my practice, I have found that chocolate - especially raw chocolate - as a nourishing food on its own and wonderful carrier of added herbs and superfoods, can be a highly effective tool for improving health and well-being. In that spirit, I'm excited to communicate with you through the Raw Integrity Project's updates, reports, and discussions of raw chocolate's lore, benefits, and, yes, challenges.


Recently, a distributor of chocolate products labeled "Raw" discovered that its supplier had been selling conventionally processed cocoa to them as raw cacao. Committed to transparency and honesty, Essential Living Foods brought this to the public's attention. Even if this was an isolated incident, we cannot ignore the need to work proactively for industry-wide quality, transparency, and Raw Integrity.


In fact, Raw Integrity has been at the very heart of Gnosis' mission and methods since the very beginning.  From the very outset, our chocolate is made from 100% raw, organic ingredients. ("raw" = not heated above 118 degrees F). I have always grilled my suppliers and peers with questions and made my specifications crystal clear. All suppliers from whom I have purchased cacao in the last 1.5 years have confirmed in writing that these ingredients have not been heated past 118 degrees. 


To guarantee that the ingredients Gnosis uses are Raw, Vegan, Organic, and of the highest quality, I regularly return to my suppliers with increasingly in-depth questions, and put my hands in every stage of production at the farms and factories I visit to ensure the nutritional integrity that is the foundation of Gnosis.I continue to work with industry leaders to develop new and ever more effective ways to assure raw integrity, and I invite you to voice your concerns to merchants and their suppliers.

The reaction of the raw food community to the Essential Living Food incident parallels that of the organic community decades ago when similar challenges arose. The consumer activism that developed resulted in legislation and procedures designed to the enactment of measures (described above) to increase integrity and transparency. And, thanks to our organic predecessors, we have a blueprint for action.

As we follow purity-related developments, let's remember that the developmental process is, in all things, an unending cycle of growth, challenge, increased consciousness, and renewed growth. We see this in ourselves; it's the bumps and challenges that frequently stimulate our most beneficial growth.


Let's embrace our responsibility as consumers and world citizens to voice our concerns and demands! Thank you very much for your time, consideration, and action... and please post a comment below!!!

Yours in Health, 

Vanessa - your chocolate girl