Thanks to Jacob Schor, N.D. of Denver for his great article in Naturopathic Doctor News I learned more about the cacao plant and chocolate. To lift his opening quote: Research tells us 14 out of any 10 individuals like chocolate per Sandra Boynton. Well not quite Sandra, my interesting son Mose likes neither chocolate or peanut butter which has been my benefit as I always had to eat his Reese’s (when his sister didn’t get it first!). But back to the gist of the story. I had heard of the Kuna Indians by way of my brother who had been to Panama some years ago and brought back the interesting embroidery this group is famous for. The Kuna live on islands off the east coast of Panama and also on the east coast of the mainland. They are indigenous to the area and since the 1940′s it has been known that they are not troubled with high blood pressure or heart problems. However, it was later determined that some of those members who moved to Panama City did develop these problems as they aged. In 2006 ML McCullough and colleagues at Harvard found that the Kuna of the Islands ate ten times the cocoa beverages, four times the amount of fish, and twice the amount of fruit as those who had moved to the city. The researchers felt that the minimally processed cocoa in their drinks and food was the magic. But the real kicker in this story is that the cocoa they use and eat is minimally processed. The chocolates we can get and the ones that I use like the Ghirardelli 70% have been made with cocoa that has been heated and treated with alkali. The good news, though, is that I found untreated cocoa powder from NOW Foods at the Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage. It is pure cocoa and mixes well with milk (soy or cow) and also ok with coffee. But don’t bake it as the heat will kill the flavonols unless it is just taste you are after. Bon apetite!